Why New DJs Should Start on Vinyl

Since the industry has shifted from traditional beatmatching to an ensemble of MIDI controllers and synced devices, the art of mixing by ear seems to be a thing of the past and thats not ok. In this article, Markos Polydorou will explain some of the benefits of learning how to DJ the traditional way.

By no means is it an article to bash computer based mixing, but more so an idea to learning the art of DJing properly and evolving from the basic foundations that our forefathers laid out for us. I believe that even if you are already mixing with a laptop and a few controllers, you should spend sometime learning your way around a turntable or two. You never know when it will come in handy!

Technology in the DJ market has evolved a lot over the last decade. Back in 2005, Pioneer CDJ 1000’s were the industry standard and scratching CD’s like vinyl was the biggest technological advancement in the world of DJ products. DJs were still carrying around crates but instead of records, they were CDs, and computers were never seen in the booth unless it was recording a set or being used by the lighting tech.

Now it’s very hard to find a DJ booth that doesn’t have a laptop, midi controllers, or CDJs. For new DJs that rarely see a turntable in the booth it can be hard to understand why anyone would continue to use what appears to be very outdated technology. Here are 6 reasons why new DJs should start on vinyl:

Unhook The Computer, Focus On Your Ears

The moment you begin to play a track on a computer, there is a robotic feel you get that just doesn’t seem to happen on turntables. Turntables have two types of motors in them: Belt Driven and Direct Drive. The motor on a Belt Driven turntable is offset from the platter and is connected to the platter by a belt loop. Direct Drive has the motor placed directly below the turntables platter which gives it a torquier feel and more consistent speed.

Because the turntables motor is spinning the platter and the music is coming from a digitized processor or program, there is a sense of fluctuation in terms of BPM and overall feel of the music. Depending on the wear and tear of the record as well, you may notice that some records will need to be sped up to reach their actual known BPM or slowed down if the pitch control is slightly faster than the other table.

This fluctuation is essential when it comes to understanding the benefits of mixing traditionally. Being able to hear and feel these differences keeps you agile, and always in tune with your mix. A computer will never give you that type of feel since it will always play back at a constant BPM.

You Spend More Time Listening To Music

With the abundance of music available online, it doesn’t take a whole lot of skill for a DJ to create a playlist. With the top tracks being presented to you and blogs posting the newest underground music, it’s quite easy to just hit download and have your crowd jumping up and down. Truth is anyone can head over to Beatport, download the top 10 Deep House tracks and play like a superstar DJ in a packed club. Where the real challenge lies is searching for those tunes that no one else has.

Many labels which focus on electronic dance music genres still release vinyl. Many of them may only release on vinyl, or only allow certain releases to be pressed to vinyl with no digital distribution. If you want to stand out from the rest, then stepping away from the technology and digging through the crates of your local record shop (or garage sale) will give you a chance to clear your mind and focus on pieces of music that really speak to you. You can even shop for records online if you don’t feel like heading out to buy records.

Digging for records is also a great source for production sounds. Sampling old records is a tried and tested method and many successful records have samples from old disco and jazz tunes you can’t find online.

Further Reading: Famous Samples in Electronic Music

You’ll Learn How To Scratch

Even if turntablism and scratching isn’t your forte, you’ll have a sudden urge to turn your decks battle style, and try a few “baby scratches” just to play around. It’s inevitable and even if you say you won’t, you will.

Scratching is actually a very good skill set to have as a DJ when you are first starting out. It teaches you to properly cue up mixes and with practice add some flair to your DJing when you need it most. It even helps you understand what certain waveforms sound like when they are being scratch and could be good for recording unique sounds in your productions.

Sure there are all in one systems out there that give you the ability to scratch music from your laptop but no matter what they say, it’s just not the same. Scratching a record cannot be compared to pushing a 6 inch plastic jog wheel with your index finger.

Further Reading: Take Your Scratch Technique Into Orbit

Respect For DJs That Came Before You

Before CDJs, Traktor, Rekordbox and USB players, DJs had to pre-select records from a massive library. They had to sort, play the record through to understand the structure, figure out the key by ear using a piano or guitar, label moods with coloured stickers, mark cue points with tape, and organize by genre which they defined on their own. On top of all this, if you were booked to play a 4 hour set, or even 2 hours, you had to bring enough records to last which usually meant if you bring an hour of music, you should probably bring two just incase.

Carrying records and bringing the right ones for each club was a lot of work. Something I feel younger DJs take for granted these days. Other than the weight of each crate, the time spent planning out which records you were going to bring was enough of a hassle. Especially if you love each record equally! You know how hard it is to pick 20 records out of 500? That’s more deciding then anyone would ever want to do and enough to make someone go made with indecisiveness.

Further Reading: Genre Tagging for DJ Music Libraries

It Shows Your Dedication To The Art

As the younger generation coming in to take the hot residency spots of the veteran guys, speaking to them about how they played back in the day and being able to relate to them is a great networking tool. Sure it’s cool to talk about the new technology but there is a certain breed of people who understand the true feel of spinning vinyl.

Being able to discuss the experiences that vinyl DJs share will immediately show how passionate you are about the art. Show up with 2 crates of records and a mono stick and you’ll gain their respect even more.

It Will Focus Your Musical Taste

I see it over and over again. DJs who come to clubs with all the latest tracks, then try to spin techno the next week, and deep house the next (insert link to multi genre DJ). While diversity is key, it’s almost culture shock to your dance floor to switch up your sound like that. The reality of it is this: If you are spinning Hardwell style progressive house, chances are you are not going to mix in minimal techno by Stefano Noferini. No matter what anyone says, some music just doesn’t mix well with other genres.

By spinning vinyl, you’ll be forced to really question each and every purchase. With vinyl, you spend more money for music, so even if there is one solid track you absolutely love and the B-side is completely left field of what you are going for, you either dive into the purchase for that one song or keep digging for the next gem. Buying records gets expensive so being picky will help you narrow down who you are as a DJ, and keep you on the right path.

To conclude why new DJs should start on vinyl, I think it’s safe to say that these tips are probably impractical for most new DJs entering the craft. Space is obviously a factor, and records may be hard to come by in some cities. What I will say though is this: If you want to feel good about what you are doing, take your time and really think about how you can get your hands on some turntables. Even if you don’t purchase them and stick to computer based DJing, find a way to practice on vinyl at least once or twice a week for an hour or two.

If you can’t afford turntables, pick up a cheap portable one and at least start digging for some cool records to build a collection. Lately I’ve been noticing that this part of the art form is being lost and as a young DJ who started out on vinyl myself, I believe that it is the BEST way to starting out mixing music for others.

For more information on Markos visit: www.markospolydorou.com

What do you think? Should new DJs start on vinyl? 

Let us know in the comments below!

beginner djsdjdj culturelaptop DJinglearn to scratchlearning to DJMidi Controllersno computerpioneer cdjscratchingstarting on vinyltraditional DJingturntablesvinyl DJing
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  • Jayson Thomas Stefanek

    Been DJing for over 22+ years, and producing for a while now, in my opinion, this argument is stupid.. most “old school” dj’s still in the game have long since realized that records are just not readily available anymore and unless you at least combine the technology with vinyl, you will be left in the dust. Final Scratch and other digitally encoded vinyl programs and hardware have made it possible to keep this art alive for vinyl lovers, but at some point when you have mixed millions of songs and sets, you begin to realize what many do, that no one is paying attention to what or how you play your set.. and eventually you also realize that to truly express the music inside of you, that DJing is merely playing other peoples music.. so unless you are TURNTABLIST and literally are showing that you have the skill to manipulate vinyl in that scratch’em up sort of style.. get your butt into the studio and make music.. the world has enough DJs and far too few good producers.

  • Chad Krueger

    The only beef I have with new technology vs. old in mixing a set is…new technology makes it easier. That’s all. Any asshole with a laptop can be a DJ. I’m sorry for being so blunt/rude and dismissing a lot of skillful DJs who love what they do, but there’s no denying that digital DJs haven’t a clue of how hard and how many years it takes to mix vinyl like it’s an MP3 program. No counters, no effects, just your pitch control and your ears, sense of timing and rhythm.
    Digital artwork is the same. It looks good and all, but it is a lot easier to pick up a stylus and fuck-up-then-do-over with digital than oil paint on canvas.
    With vinyl on turntables, the skill of the DJ cannot be corrected with technology. It is there for all to see and hear, so you have to get it right. And when you do there’s nothing more intense. Even if you don’t use sync, it is a lot easier to fix a trainwreck with a computer then on turntables.
    So justify all you want, but no laptop can compare with turntable mixing when done well. It’s like comparing Michaelangelo to TRON…Both are art but on two ends. One has tradition, the other is advanced. One is made with old, heavy and time-consuming material. The other is as transparent and fickle as the wind…Which has aged better? Which will last the longest? Maybe this will be the true test of Vinyl Vs. Digital.

  • John Parker

    Really tired of this argument, boils my piss tbh. Elitist young wannabes thinking they’re cool because they learned to count to eight. Vinyl weren’t all all that, really heavy easily damaged and pretty much a pain in the arse all round. I personally wouldn’t regress back to it, time to ditch the luddites i think. Pretentious
    fucktards imo

  • drno

    ???? start out with what you can afford, however you want. there are no rules for DJ’ing. such bad advice.

  • Mauricio Vega

    Good but some label records today is not available sales in America most of all is in Europe and the shipping to America plus the vinil price made more expensive and take more time to get in your hands

  • Ezmyrelda Andrade

    I wholeheartedly agree with this article if it’s within your financial capabilities to start on vinyl.. One caveat.. If you start on vinyl you might find that pressing a button to start a track feels.. inorganic.. Throwing a record and learning to get it to align from that release of the records is.. sort of the secret sauce of why people are still attached to vinyl.. There is a sense of pride in accomplishment you just can not derive from mixing tracks that are completely decoupled from a mechanically driven table setup.


    excellent article!!

  • Reticuli

    Everything vinyl has gone up in price, there is not as much new music on it, and it wears out. How about manufacturers allow disabling or hiding of bpm counters and remove the big distracting moving waveforms on players. And djs should leave the laptops at home unless you’re djing top 40 requests or it’s a wedding. Laptops are for requests and live producing. Hanpin to the rescue.

  • Bujar Zabergja

    im palying vinyl sinds early 90′,and im very curious about the controller dj did they learn anything about mixing or just in case they push the button “SYNC”in my country ,im very dissapointed with my collegs when i see them dj ing,to be honest is boring,and when they come near me they are very afraid to see the turntables,they always say it to me i want to learn playing with vinyl,and my answer is ,when your stop telling me about starting then gonna start playing with vinyl…

  • Robert N. Griffith

    Yeah,I started with Technics 1800’s in November ’77 and just got a Traktor Kontrol S2 this past Friday……so I’m so agreeing with the tone of this write up…….The best way is the original way,and what comes after comes easier…

  • Vernon Roberts

    Great article!

    I agree completely. I used to really appreciate going to see a big DJ, hearing the mix slightly going out and then being recovered. There is huge skill and co-ordination involved that takes a long time to master.

    Vinyl sets are coming back in a big way though. It certainly seems like a big USP at the moment, advertising that the set will be performed on vinyl. I love it and hope it continues its course back to the big stage. Then maybe it won’t be so difficult to find recent releases on vinyl : p

    I don’t want to take anything away from the modern DJ’s though. Just as an older generation DJ nursing a mix, the modern DJ is now under pressure to cut, sample and make his set and tunes unique, given the actual mix is taken care of.

    It will be interesting to see who wins this battle now vinyl is fighting back. It is also great to see Technics identifying this by coming back to the turntable market, although with an astronomical price tag :))

  • Johana Garcia

    Thanks for sharing this article, I appreciate it.

  • Paul Bruno

    great article. I spun in clubs in the late 80’s early 90’s. Still buy lots of underground house vinyl, quality is better now and more collector and vinyl only releases. Still mix analog vinyl only and manually sync drum machine and bassline synths without the use of digital. Love it, Love music! And I agree, you do appreciate the rare awesome music that is produced while putting your own style over it.

  • TinyKurtRussell

    Can’t wait to get two decks and get to work! Been buying records since about 09/10 and wanna put them to work.

  • Davy Goossens

    the only thing that matters ultimately is whether the crowd likes it.
    they don’t care how or what you use, as long as you please them.
    you can have best skills and most fine nose for underrated record gems, if the crowd has another music taste, you’ll be booed off.

    • Reticuli

      I disagree. I find plenty of club goers there more for the djing and who have wide tastes that make them more flexible to the music but who are there to see real by-ear mixing rather than listen to a juke box or youtube. That doesn’t mean vinyl is the only way, though. It does mean laptops are a problem.

  • Moonified

    I agree with the sentiment of this article, but it’s totally missed the mark and most of the issues discussed have nothing to do with vinyl vs electronic mediums.

    • Reticuli

      Ageed. It’s laptops/wavefoms & bpms vs the lack of.

  • Valentino

    Hello. I wan’t to become a DJ. Im 18 yrs old, not a fancy one, im been reading books and searching for the right music. My music is Techno and House ( the old one). Plese anwser, is it hard to mix on Turntables? My friends keep saying that i should buy a controller for the first hanf… Deep down there i know that they are wrong and i love that sound and feeling of the Vinyl, feeling of the art. Thanks 😉

    • Reticuli

      Buy some Hanpin digital players and disable bpm. Vinyl is too expensive unless somone gives you a couple thousand records.

  • Chris Barr

    Wow, interesting comments here.. For what its worth, I started 16 odd years ago.. I was 16.. Always loved the music. Started with some DJ program on a pc that I forget the name off but anyhow thats how I started. I didn’t have a clue and I didn’t really learn til I got some belt drive numark turntables. They sucked and I remember struggling to keep a beat matched, I used to think it was my skills but half of it was because the pitch was wavering.. Then I got 1210s and I hit me how well I could mix with decent gear. I eventually progressed to denon dns3000s, which is still have. They have a real platter and feel like turntables but they are not the same. No spindle to pinch and speed up the vinyl (I’ve never been able to ride the pitch) and dragging your finger on the edge of the platter wasn’t the same as 1210s either..

    But I remember going from 1210s to cdj and everything felt so much easier. Most likely because I had learned the hard way without things like pitch bend etc. My cdj has loop/sampling and all sorts of other fancy things but you know what, I only use play, pitch bend, pitch and track title on the LCD.. That is it!!!! Your more in touch with turntables. I used to remember tracks by the vinyl sleeves and I didn’t have any extra luxuries like time remaining, key lock etc etc.. I do miss turntables and I doubt I could play like I could on them but they were so limiting in the fact that I couldn’t mix tracks I liked due to financial limitations (£5 for a vinyl!) or the fact some were almost unobtainable.. I still have my vinyl though, all trance from around 95 to 08, and I’d never part with it.. I still have an ancient technics 1510.. Oh yeh, bet you guys how no idea what that is… No pitch slider!! Pitch dials!!! No quartz lock neither, so push the platter and it takes an age to go back to correct speed but I don’t mix on it, only to play my old records for nostalgia… Wish I never sold my old 1210 mk2s though.. Digital has taken away that close contact you have with mixing but at the time I felt I vinyl was dieing and I that I was being severely limited as to what music I could play…

  • Sinfour

    Many good points there and I totally agree with the youngsters try out how it really feel to be a dj. But I aslo do understand why the djs in early 2000 begun to love using cdjs instead. As a traveling dj, carrying cds is lot more economical and light weight when you compare to vinyl. Now you only need a laptop or a usb. With that note, there seems to be more activity on the vinyl side again, New Technics players in production can change dj culture again. And I hope so.

  • Lew123

    Im looking to start djing and being 16 and only having a part time job vinyl and cdjs are way out of budget. So if i was to get a controller (i was planning on the numark nv) could i still learn the old school way if that makes sense.

    • Reticuli

      Hanpin players and turn bpm off.

  • Shikhar Sengupta

    I’m pretty much brand new to the dj scene (so new, I don’t even have the equipment yet, just doing heavy research so far >.> ) and I have to say, I’m stuck between the two. As much as I would love to go to the roots and see what the veterans of old did, it is just too expensive for my wallet. Still, this is an awesome article to read up on and learn from :p

    • Reticuli

      Hampin players and turn the bpm counter off.

  • Gramitier Civit

    Hi there im happy to read this as i been feelin like a bit of a dinasour as i started djing 15 or more years ago and i still do on vinyl and i can relate to all this, i dont do gigs anymore but i do apreciate more when i go to a club and the dj has vinyl turntables, im spanish and in spain is still used quite a lot too, thnks for the article.

  • Dave Reynolds

    1 : Too much talk of digital making carrying gear ”easier”. Since when has ”ease” been one of the determining factors in this? You get paid, do your job. As if it’s not easy enough the clubs providing the gear for you since CDJs and all you had to have was a wallet.

    2 : Vinyl does not suffer from the horrible plastic sounding fatiguing maximising that digital does due to the limitations of the medium. It is mastered and eq’d differently. And a pro eq, not something you can add on the mixer. It is actually the combination of vinyl being pressed pre-maximisiation and having a professional cut it and eq it that make the vinyl sound ”warm” as people say. Not the analogue distortion, or should I say overdrive. The analogue distortion can add a certain ”real” ness to the sound, much like a lot of old photos pre-digital.

    3 : Vinyl rips are great too. You can rip a vinyl in a decent fashion through a decent preamp and it will retain all the features outlined in point no. 2. Now you can use that rip digitally if you want. So basically, now you’re a vinyl guy and a digital guy.

    4 : I have to be honest yet to hear a consistency in people doing these on-the-fly tricks and mashups. It’s a bit ADHD like everyone’s on Ephedrine or something. The producers have spent a lot of time getting the record right. Why are you changing it?

    5 : If you play Serato without any kind of sync, using vinyl rips and control vinyl on 1210’s, then I think you should count as a vinyl player. It’s as close as dammit.

    6 : Digital is great for people like wedding DJ’s and people who are going to get loads of requests and play in commecial clubs, probably playing a lot of very well known music. Or people that flit around a lot and keep flipping the floor etc.

    I have no objection to digital dj’s as such, apart from when they slag off vinyl and say ”It’s dead” etc. And also when they play horribly maximised music with that real honk in the upper mids. That gets fatiguing real quick which in itself can clear a floor gradually IMHO.
    Also – the cookie cutter phrases ”Move with the times or get left behind” – this isn’t some kind of Darwin Survival thing. What you’re really saying is ”Buy into the next thing that Pioneer and all the big corporate companies TELL you to buy”. If they pronounce the controller dead at the drop of a hat and simultaneously announce another product, I bet you’ll all be saying controllers are dead and ”Move with the times or get left behind”. Does this not strike you as being :
    1 : Beholden to big corporate companies who may even not be DJs themselves.
    2 : Being a bit of a fashion victim.

    What I’m saying is – You’re going to let these manufacturing companies dictate our scene? Controllers are already being referred to as ”Plastic toys”.

    Having said that, you play me a wicked set digitally, I’ve no complaint about that.

  • djemir

    If they can get used to those tiny little toy wheels more power to them, There are turntablists that can scratch up a storm on an NS6 or other controllers but they will always say as it does in DJ Rectangles record have their “preferred weapon of choice… the turntables” I have to admit I actually one day argued with another guy about technics versus CDJs and that’s when I coined the phrase “The wheels of plastic ” when I said do you really want someone announcing you on stage and we have DJ Blah, Blah on the wheels of plastic!” LOL but I recognize that now matter the tool It is up to the master crafter to craft the night using various techniques and his / her knowledge of music and personal judgement to make any equipment transcend just playing music to really connecting with the crowd and moving them. There qare a few rarities I still have never found on digital that I have had to actually record from vinyl in order to add them into my digital collection. Especially since many were import records from Belgium, the UK and Germany etc… so I know where you are coming from on the exclusive music side. Many great DJs are pushing the digital side of things further by using it more creatively, sampling, looping and cue point drumming to create unique mixes and remixes live. When I switched to Serato I was lucky I was still carrying a few crates with me. I was still in the process of building my digital library so it took me a few months to completely switch. For months I was playing a combination of Vinyl records and Mp3 files on Serato so it was a blessing when I fortunately had an acapella playing on regular vinyl when my original Laptop which was playing the instrumental I was remixing the song with crapped out. It surprised me and the dancefloor when all of a sudden the instrumental track dropped out and all you heard was the acapella going, but fortunately I saw the blank screen and quickly grabbed another instrumental from one of the vinyl records and thanks to years of quick mixing I was able to throw it on and quickly match it on the fly live in the mix so no one but me was the wiser for it. I then rebooted the laptop and played vinyl until it was up and running again. Personally not sure that DJs really have to go all the way back to vinyl but I myself still will travel with my own pair of techs or make sure it’s written in the rider that the club must supply a good functioning pair of Technics because as for me I can;t stand the crappy feel of the wheels of plastic and as ir Mix alot said Plastic parts are made for toys. All the controllers and CDJs just remind me of fisher price toys. They are made for people with small hands, kids. With practice anyone can do wonders on them though s don’t count em out, and if you can work em, work em, more power to ya!. But as for me and my house we shall serve the lord… the Technics turntables. LOL I have only had to DJ 3 times on CDJS my whole life and that’s when my friend surprised me when I knew he usually prefers Techs but sometimes just doesn;t want to set up turntables when the club already has CDJs set up. He said he gets down just as well on CDJs… personally I could tell the difference, And I also sounded different they just don’t have the buttery smooth feel of techs.< not That there's anything wrong with that, it's just not for me (ha) (Seinfeld reference)

  • Planco

    I consider myself hobby Dj, I dont have any hardware, but i was learning on CDJ-850( just cdjs and mix, no laptop) and few week ago tried numark mixtrack pro and after that i made my decision for firts purchase and It’s gonna be stantons T62 😉

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  • keith7120

    I’be been spinning since 83 and I welcome the convenience of the digital age. I was resistant at first because the music industry jacked up the prices of CD’s so it cost more than vinyl and vinyl was more expensive for them to sell so go figure. In addition, the city I lived in immediately abandoned vinyl so I was forced to move on to CJ’s but not until the Pioneer 1000’s came out. I introduced my laptop to the game right before serato came out but only to play mixes and stuff instead of using burned cd’s. Once I saw a dj using Final Scratch, I was sold. However, my first purchase was the serato, I wasn’t to big on putting linux on my laptop just to dj. The thing that did it for me was the ability to use vinyl on serato. That was enough for me to stop buying 12inch’s altogether. I loved the analog dj set but I don’t wish we were back in the day at all. I remember trying to pullout the right records for each party, now that was a chore. I got to the point of just bringing all my crates for just incase moments. I don’t miss those days at all. Just give me Terrabyte hard drive. Outside of that, you have to dj for the crowd in front of ya. That’s a real dj regardless of analog or digital unless you are talking DJ Battles then yeah, vinyl is the king there.

  • keith7120

    In my opinion, it was those that bought a laptop and downloaded all of their music from youtube and charged $50 bucks to do a set is what ruined the game.

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    Great article. Main reason to try DJing with vinyl – it “feels” good. Do you get a buzz when you lock two tracks in Traktor? Maybe. But try it on vinyl. That’s a BUZZ.

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    will this ever find an end? to talk about how and how not to become a dj! there was nothing wrong in the articel – sure beat matching and keymatching is the base of everything! but if you dont understand this – you wont become a dj anyways!
    but if you can mix it vinyl doesnt mean, that you become a good dj, either! all the preperation for a gig – selecting music – have spare tracks, bla bla. all that shit is still the same in the end!
    it is way more important to be able to feel what your audience need to have a great time and what you can give them! its not about if you play vinyl or digital! its about your set and what you give people!
    a real famouse photographer said once – not a camera takes a good picture its still the eye which has to see it!


  • Darrell Faulk

    vinyl vs digital DJing one is no better than the other what matters is how you move the crowd you can have two turntables and a mixer and be great or be awful you going to have a digital DJ system and be great or be awful depending on the party that you’re doing not everyone wants to hear scratch mixing so rather is on two turntables or digital DJ system you need to play what the people came to hear that’s it point blank

  • Goran Stosic

    Im begginer dj (start up few months ago) and i started praticing on cdj 100 because i think i get more connection with music because there is not bpm detection. I wanted to stat with turntables but i could not buy them because i dont known enithing about them ( iknown only that techincs sl 1200 are the best). So if enebody known witch direct drive turntables are the best around 500$ for start? Thanks

  • Paprika

    The only problem between digital and vinyl are DJ’s !!! Everybody say the same thing over and over again. Who its best DJ the guy with vinyl or a laptop? This fight its only between DJ’s! People don’t really care how we do it as long good music its been playing!(of course some people care) but they come to dance not to look at You. I think its only one question to all DJ’s: why You want to do this ? If its to share music and make people dance it dos not matter what system You play on If You have a feeling for music You will manage everything. I start with controller and I had few occasion to play vinyl but it was with serato system. My friend say to me why You look the screen all the time just close Yours eye’s and feel the music flow… I do it ever since! Of course its cool to play vinyl but its also cool If you can manage controller and when somebody can play controller for real it is not easy to… I like both and in my personal opinion its a personal choice! Both system have different advantage’s but If the choice its music You don’t care for this topic digital vs vinyl if You are showof who just want to shine You are the loudest dog in the crowd!

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    indispensable tool, the many (many!) articles have been so helpful to me, thank you.

    I want to also say however, that my heart
    is heavy, broken actually. I had enjoyed this article so much that I shared on my wall,
    about introducing new Djs to vinyl. My take away from that article is that
    DJing should be embraced in its entirety, from the vintage Rolls Royce
    (turntables) to the roadsters (digital equipment and software), all their
    virtues make for a wholesome wholistic experience as a DJ.

    The article was interesting, regardless of
    whether I agree with everything, and left me with a lot to reflect on. What
    broke my heart was some of the things people said in the comments. I was
    looking forward to a discussion where I could pick up more points and tips on
    the said topic and learn more, as I usually do. What I found, was people, who
    say they are DJs, addressing each other with the utmost contempt, disrespect
    and rudeness, to the point of personal attacks. It is embarrassing, and
    shameful to our profession. In the words of Black Eyed Peas, “Where is the

    To me, being a Dj is really about being a person
    of honour, and treating others (DJs and non-DJs) with honour, regardless of
    their opinions and preferences in DJing. Being a DJ is about being a person of
    character, a person of wisdom, who can get on social forums, weigh discussions
    with analytical thought, and disagree as respectfully as possible, keeping
    their full focus on the topic at hand, and being very polite to others
    participating in the discussion.

    You never know who you are talking to on
    social media, or who is reading your posts, not everybody who visits the site
    is a Dj. Influential people like promoters, media personalities or clients may
    be deciding whether to write you off for being abrasive, or hire/book you for
    your affable personality. Like in any other profession, your personality is
    what will sell you, or destroy your career; your skill, software, equipment or
    whatever else you may be banking on, just aren’t enough.

    We have a proverb in Africa: “If you want
    to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go with others”.

    We have to be
    united as a community and support one another, if we are going to progress as
    an industry.Please consider posting an article about this problem? Apparently a
    lot of people (who are not Djs I mean) consider being a Dj the career of losers. That kind of negativity
    offends me, and many other Djs, but how
    can we expect people to respect our profession when some of us misbehave in a way that supports that falsehood? The love will move our industry forward, fam. Bless <3

  • Shock the Pilgrim

    All the equipment that preceded what we use today, brought us to where we are now. To insult vintage Dj equipment and veteran Djs is like insulting our parents. Most of the technology we use now was designed by them.

  • scamo

    I understand where this is coming from and the message, but I have to fully disagree. Let me make some counter points.

    “You Spend More Time Listening To Music”

    Say what? This should be more like, “It takes more time to listen to music”. That is the only difference to vinyl. With digital, I can listen to more music a lot faster. While old Pops (me) is changing the record on the turntable, my son has already listened to 30 seconds of the first track on the new album he just switched to on his MP3 player/ mobile phone.

    “You’ll Learn How To Scratch”

    This is a straw man argument. If someone wants to scratch, then use vinyl, most definitely yes. But, because you use vinyl, doesn’t mean you’ll automatically learn to scratch. It is a hard technique to learn and takes a lot of practice. You might get the baby scratch in, but learning to scratch properly takes dedication and it is for basically set genres, like HipHop. Not everyone likes these genres.

    “Respect For DJs That Came Before You”

    Say what (#2)? This is really, really poor thinking. Respect for the past DJs doesn’t come from the tools. It comes from wanting to master the techniques to use the tools. And we now have a plethora of different tools and thus, the techniques are now different too. So it is hard to respect the past DJ’s for the techniques they used, who simply did things differently. Now, please don’t get me wrong. “Respect thy elders” should be a value anyone should have been taught as a child. No matter what they do as adults, it should be part of their persona. Thus, using vinyl shouldn’t be needed. I really respect all DJs who use vinyl completely. But, I don’t and probably never will use vinyl and don’t need to in order to respect their accomplishments. They are fantastic.

    “It Shows Your Dedication To The Art”

    No, no, no, no, no way. Absolutely NOT! Oh my. This is like, SAY WHAT? x 1000. The art to mixing music/ being a DJ (I hope this is what you mean) is not in a vinyl record or a turntable. This is so wrong. The art of DJing is making music come to life. Making a new story out of it. Making a crowd relive music. Making a group of people feel energy and release it through dancing to the music. The music is the real tool. The instrument to play the music is totally irrelevant to the art form of DJing, unless it is such a poor tool, that what I said above becomes impossible. Think about it, I played between a CD player and a cassette tape recorder, mixing in my father’s stereo system, at a high school party and got people dancing and having a lot of fun. That is the art of DJing.

    “It Will Focus Your Musical Taste”

    Now this one, even though it might look like you are reaching, actually does have merit. Because, you can access so much music today, finding the “area of music” you want to be specialized at becomes quite difficult. However, why does one have to be focused on one genre or have a certain “taste”? Is it really necessary? To be really, really good, I’d say yes. But, there are a lot of talented people out there and the ability to spread one’s “tastes” across all forms of music shouldn’t be a hindrance, which vinyl, unfortunately, represents. So, yesterday, finding your “taste” used to be a “must”. Today, it isn’t necessarily a “must” for the same reasons. Still, having options is always better than not having options.

    Sorry, if this came out a bit negative to your post. It is just bad advice to say someone today should start off with vinyl. It raises the hurdle considerably to become a DJ and it adds no real value to becoming an excellent and successful DJ either. The people who are dancing crazily to your DJing simply won’t know it and won’t care either.

  • Arielle West

    I really don’t care what a DJ uses to play music. I know ones whom are traditionalists, and ones whom are using mp3s.

    The whole sound factor has to do with the lack of quality of mp3 files. Vinyl has a higher bit rate than mp3s, but had more static due to its medium. Buy studio quality music and sound quality changes dramatically. Oh yes and I did write buy, don’t steal. Producers spend a lot of money on equipment to produce, and having someone laugh as they download/steal your latest track isn’t funny.

    And the whole but hurt thing. Well, go to work and then see how you feel when your boss refuses to pay you because people are stealing merchandise and laughing about it. It becomes much less funny when you’re on that side of the situation.

  • Richard Gicomeng

    Historically, it has been a common practice of senior generations to impart what they know to younger generations and often expecting them to repeat the same processes that have become obsolete. During the early 20th century, fathers often discouraged their sons from buying into the novelty of the mechanical carriage rather than settle for the gallop of a horse. It might seem poignant only terms like “horsepower” were all that survived, but at least we will never know the feeling of being thrown off of one.

    I started lugging crates of vinyl to clubs in New York during in the 1980s, blindly laboring over those hair-thin grooves under dim turntable lamps, trying to feel the right spot and taking care to send the record spinning at the right velocity as I tweaked the pitch control while cradling the platter, counting off 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64 beats with one ear in the air, the other buried beneath a headphone, and my eyes bouncing between the crowd and VU meters. The LPs and 45 inch singles from the 1970s I once loved I learned to hate because of all the imperfections that brought the beats out of sync and difficult to mix.

    When I wasn’t DJing, I was teaching advanced satellite systems engineering courses at NYU. I hung up my headphones when I went on to work on classified military configurations before joining NASA, developing the requirements and design for the space station and ground operations, I became fascinated by predictions of audio-visual technology that came from NASA think tanks like JPL, and curious why it is taking so long to roll it out.

    The digital world is not something new; it’s been around since the advent of T1 circuits and solid state technology in 1962. The challenge has been to build the technology end-to-end. Since we, as humans, are analog creatures, such event cannot be fully achieved until we somehow become integrated with machine. In the meantime, today we are able to enjoy a technology that is precise rather than imperfect. The more detail added to the common waveform, the better representation we have of something that is far more perfect than what exists in an analog world.

    Certainly, the youth of today should know something about vinyl technology. We need to reserve that for a class in “history”. Vinyl existed in the past and it still exists today, but we cannot waste the minds and lives of today’s DJs by expecting them to travel the same backroads we travelled when they built a highway.

    As for mixing between genres, some of the most highly acclaimed DJs I know from the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s… achieved their fame by breaking such rules. When Shaun Buchanan brought Motown music into a set at the Saint in NY during the early 1980s, the crowd went wild. It was totally unexpected but so appropriate. An audience that cannot tolerate a surprise or must hear a certain song or set of songs would be better off hosting their own party and playing that music themselves. Not only will they have the thrill of playing their music during their event, but the pleasure that comes from planning it.. Unfortunately, not everyone has the time, talent, energy, or desire to mix music. What most people want is something memorable and exciting. I have a lot of old classics I could throw on two turntables with a mixer and to the young crowds it will all be new. I can’t do that. There is so much talent out there today that should be heard and unless I can take something outdated and bring it into the present with a remix, I am just being as nostalgic as you.

    Finally, when we start telling young people how to learn to play music, you realize that they have every right to throw a grammar book at us and tell us to learn how to write. In all the years I taught, I gave only one test and never assigned a text book. Education should not be endured by students; they should crave it and find their most pleasurable experiences attending classes out of desire and not necessity. Rather than teaching students what we think they should know, we should be teaching them how to use today’s tools to obtain the best answer. The future is about them and not how we live vicariously through them.

  • ???????

    I would love to start DJ’ing with vinyl. I’ve got a friend who’s sat on a pair of Technic 1210’s (mint) for yearrrrrrs not using them and I’m still tryna buy them off him. He’s got one vinyl. Wiley – Eskimo white label. Can someone strangle him please?

      • ???????

        everytime I come on here I think about them 🙁 I’m just gonna throw cash at him!

  • D.J.Frankie V.

    You guys missed the point is to train your ears and try to hold two different beats for as long as you can,and with vinyl you can be very creative if you have an ear as too jumping from genre to genre , I have a controller as well as my 1210’s and my UREI and always go back and forth from vinyl to digital no problems with a trained ear ,D.J. Frankie V. usream.tv/channel/joshtheshocker

  • Mojo

    What bothers me about this discussion and all the debates I’ve seen on the subject, is how defensive new school DJs get when encountering old school DJs. The vast majority of old school DJs have actually evolved with the craft. We’ve play on CDJs, we’ve played on Traktor/Serato, some even use controllers. Some of us have moved into production, where new tech is absolutely essential to our craft. We aren’t just a bunch of old geezers complaining arbitrarily about these young whippersnappers. The problem lies with what we are seeing with our own eyes! What’s going on at some of the big festivals, go look up most EDM DJ videos on youtube, and see what I’m talking about. Look at all the people who now claim to be DJs – the bar has been lowered and the market has become over saturated. That’s just a fact. These types of shenanigans bother us, because we approached the craft in a dedicated way striving to not only become the best we can be, but to represent the craft in the best possible way.

    Look at all the nonsense going on out there. Look, I’m personally not a fan of DJs who use a synch button, but if you’re doing some crazy stuff with it and the synch button is what allows you to do that crazy stuff, more power to you. The problem is, with rare exception, I have not seen anyone use synch and achieve that. What I typically see is someone use synch to do exactly what I can do by beatmatching manually, or worse, using synch to dance around, throw cakes, stage dive, pose and all that other nonsense that we regularly see nowadays. This is what we are usually railing about, not just railing on technology in a vacuum, for the sake of yelling at the youngsters.

    So my point is this… if you truly believe that what you are doing is special and advances the craft in some special way, instead of focusing your fire at those of us who have paved the way for you and paid our dues, why don’t you focus your fire at the douchebags who make what you do look so ridiculous and simple. They are the ones giving you and the craft itself a black eye.

  • k g

    one thing that always came to mind for me was that digital is much cheaper to start on than vinyl…

  • Stigz

    This is awesome… all you laptop DJs hating on it, please stop. Know your roots. and stop being babies. If you had any dedication you would learn just to learn.

  • allstar720

    This article is silly. If you don’t have style, can’t program, and can’t beat match without a sync button, you’ll out yourself pretty quickly. Problem is that (at least where I’m from in Akron, Ohio) no one will care except for other djs (or wannabe djs as they are the WORST) in attendance. Joe and Jane public could care less as they just want to hear music, get drunk, and try to hook up while we are busy tripping on vinyl versus digital. You can go ahead and drag around record crates for people who could care less, and will probably be annoyed that you can’t instantly drop their request, I’ll stick to digital.

  • Netwrkr

    I disagree with the premise of the article. I started on vinyl and I would hate to go back. Saying that all DJ’s should learn to mix on vinyl is like saying all drivers of cars should start on the horse and buggy. It’s not something that we use anymore and frankly, I’m glad. The expense and the weight of the media we carried around didn’t prove anything about our skills. I spend just as much time sourcing my playlist as any vinyl jockey would and I’m able to discover more unique music using digital tools because of the global distribution of the various web sites devoted to the art. I’m completely digital now and quite happy for it.

  • Allen Townes

    Turntable dj’ing is the classic and original style. It’s a feel that cannot be replicated in any way. However evolution has allowed digital dj’ing to showcase some awesome talent ranging from on the fly productions to video djing and such.

    Although I started out on vinyl, I welcome the new era of technology that has if anything ADDED the the showcasing of how music is played.

    No I am not a fan of sync buttons, however the generation of music lovers in a sense of how it’s delivered no longer exists as much as back in the day.
    In the same breath, we don’t ride horse and carriages no more, we drive and fly to our destinations.

    It’s an old skool “grump old man” mind set to say any art from other than vinyl djing is not “real” djing. And yes it’s a lot easier to claim to be a DJ. But then technology has allowed the likes of jazzy Jeff and grandmaster flash (who are pioneers of turntableism) to Introduce serato or traktor into their set with use of midi devices including dicers and such. And they are still very much sensational at what they do.

    I understand ur point, however it’s safe to say the art itself has evolved and the future is here…

  • AnisBannour

    Personally i love the physical aspect of music. I Still buy cds and play them in my hi fi system at home. Never use my laptop. But when it comes to Djing vinyls are extremely limited. For the sync thing you’ll need less than a minute to guess te right tempo and a couple of seconds to beatmatch. You’re not a genius if you can beatmatch without sync (i never use sync button though). On the other hand i recently started using the traktor kontrol f1. And man that’s amazing!!! Technology is a blessing. If you want exclusivity then use ableton or remix decks. You’ll do stuff stuff nobody has ever heard before. If you don’t listen and spend time with your music that means you’re lazy. Period. Vinyls won’t change you. Respect to the veterans. No doubt. but nobody is right or wrong. It’s just a matter of taste. I personally find it boring to use cdjs. I want some performance and I’m practicing finger drumming to do more live in addition to remix decks. That is me. Others preder classic stuff. Do your thing and leave the others in peace.

  • AneesB

    Personally i love the physical aspect of music. I Still buy cds and play them in my hi fi system at home. Never use my laptop. But when it comes to Djing vinyls are extremely limited. For the sync thing you’ll need less than a minute to guess te right tempo and a couple of seconds to beatmatch. You’re not a genius if you can beatmatch without sync (i never use sync button though). On the other hand i recently started using the traktor kontrol f1. And man that’s amazing!!! Technology is a blessing. If you want exclusivity then use ableton or remix decks. You’ll do stuff stuff nobody has ever heard before. If you don’t listen and spend time with your music that means you’re lazy. Period. Vinyls won’t change you. Respect to the veterans. No doubt. but nobody is right or wrong. It’s just a matter of taste. I personally find it boring to use cdjs. I want some performance and I’m practicing finger drumming to do more live in addition to remix decks. That is me. Others preder classic stuff. Do your thing and leave the others in peace.

  • Paul Nikkolai Arma

    i very much agree on the thought of this article, one thing though… costy. vinyl records and turntables are too costy, specially here in the Philippines, 🙁

  • Made

    You know why people should still write on paper and use typewriters? Because it teaches them how to proof-read their shit and fix spelling and syntax errors before articles go live.

  • Milltown

    Wear and tear on the record causes the BPM to slow down? Really?

  • TheCrane

    There’s something ridiculous about the idea that rigidly quantised machine-made electronic music is somehow improved by playing it back with tiny fluctuations in tempo. Manual beatmatching is not some kind of mystic artform that brings you closer to the music – it’s just a pretty dull chore, and it’s good that computers can do it better than humans because that means DJs can focus on the interesting parts of their work.

  • Rna Rbkh

    While I realize that the article is more focused on skill and musical intuition and the creativity of the DJ, I still cannot believe that you missed an essential aspect of buying vinyl! This is the way one (the DJ) is able to actually support the artistic creation of a music production. Admittedly, the purchase of overpriced new releases on Discogs has also gotten out of hand – the producer is not necessarily benefitting from the purchase. However, buying a new record in a shop from an artist who has produced that music and a label who has dedicated their time, energy and money to creating an artistic product is what keeps the music sub-culture and the musicians/producers involved alive and thriving.


    • markospolydorou


      Although I didn’t talk specifically about purchasing vinyl (keep on eye out for my next article on this), I did mention the process of digging in the second point “You spend more time listening to music”. You are 100% right though. Physical distribution means more money in the label and artists pocket and is a good way to show support.

      I for one believe that every DJ should still have a vinyl collection. Especially if there is a piece of music they really love. There is nothing better then having a hard copy that you know won’t get lost and you can make a copy of it for yourself in digital format whenever you need it. The one thing I hate about digital is that it is so damn easy to download 100 tracks and forget about 90% of them the next week. A record lasts, and will always speak to you each time you pull it out of the shelf. Even a CD or tape gives this same feeling.

      Thanks for the feedback though 🙂

  • Plug Head

    “It ain’t what you have. It is what you do with what you have” – from an acid techno tune…

    We could go on and on and on talking about the pains and gains of vinyl and digital but at the end of the night, it doesn’t really matter. At the end of the night it’s all about the vibe. You probably won’t remember what the DJ was using if you have been dancing all night.

    Focusing on records instead of digital gear it is just a consumption advice about where the young’ones should spend their pocket money. But there is so much to it other than how much you spend and where…

    Truth be told the current generation is impossible not to start with digital means. They are practically born with it. So, yes you are starting with mp3’s and a cracked software. What do you do with it? Some insights for the digital age kids:

    1. Respect the music. Respect the artist. Spending money on it instead of stealing it via illegal downloads is one way, but if you don’t have enough money to maintain your crave (I never have) , try your best the music that you are playing sounds the best possible. No youtube rips, go for wav or flac or at least for 320 bitrate mp3’s. When you buy your digital gear, focus on the sound quality rather than the flash of it

    2. Fuck genres. Take advantage of the internet to define your own sound instead of sticking to tags and “best tracks” lists. Go wide and deep, music is not crates with labels, music is an ever-evolving diverse continuum that is your duty as you select music for others to explore. Understand music, make it you life’s statement instead of merely reproducing it.

    3. Choose your path. For me there are two paths. Simulation and evolution. When you are in the simulation path and you are DJing with a computer and software that simulates typical decks, as you progress you start using less and less features of your software. Killing the synch button and mapping enough functions on a controller to keep you off screen is the way to go (time-coding software is another). It mind sound easy but believe me it is a detox process. At this path you will eventually end up switching into vinyl. If you don’t see it as a detox process, beat -synching everything, you mind as well drop your headphones (if you are using any) and do something useful of your life.

    Then there is the evolution path and it’s a deep dive. Instead of trying to sound as your favourite DJs who are using vinyl, re-invent DJing Instead of going Traktor, go Ableton. Throw some stuff in a project and start experimenting, chopping beats and combining stuff that could never be combined through regular djing. Be a true digital age pioneer instead of a simulator. Use the beat-grid as a liberator, that allows you to focus at the artistic side of DJing and the content of a set at a micro-level (sampling) instead of the technical and create something completely new.

    Good luck

  • Ezra

    you said that people shouldn’t mix every thing, and I agree that some stuff just clashes, but what about DJ’s like girl talk. He mixes all genres and people go wild.

    • markospolydorou

      I guess girl talk would be the exception. But DJing two tracks is much different then mashing together 60 songs in 3 min…lol. Girl talk does amazing things and has a good ear for what mixes together well and most of the time its Pop genre’s that he is mixing. I guess it really depends on the tracks themselves but there is a reason Hardwell plays on one stage and Richie Hawtin on another when you go to a major festival. The sounds are very different and cater to a different niche.

  • Destiny Samkange

    True. Newbies need to learn how to DJ without PC assistance. I’m tired of SYNC djs. Not saying i’m for, or, against that function but, usually because they do not know their music well, 90% of the time, it’s done out of phase and the only ones enjoying the mix is them.

    • markospolydorou

      I am not against the sync button either. I believe that it has a place for performers but only when the set up gets so intense that it is a requirement. Playing 2 decks, with two remix decks, with maschine synced, and launching clips on Ableton? Yeah… no brainer. Use the sync button.

  • Seville Lilly

    “Why Old DJs Think New DJs Should Start on Vinyl” would be a more honest headline. I think a better approach might’ve been “How Learning to Play on Vinyl Can Improve Your Digital DJing.” These are some pretty esoteric, subjective arguments as to why you “should.”

    In my opinion there’s a much more straightforward, hands-on reason to play vinyl than all the intangible ones brought up here: mixing on turntables… with no sync button, no waveform, no BPM readout and no phase meter… forces you to LISTEN to both tracks and KEEP listening. This will deepen and improve your relationship with your music collection in a way digital just can’t compete with, period. It will also cut down on those embarrassing “oops, my next track isn’t lined up with the downbeat cause i didn’t take 5 seconds to check where the analyze landed” cross-fades I hear way too often from digital DJs nowadays, which drive me absolutely effing insane.

    While I agree in theory with other commenters that knowing your music better can be accomplished digitally too, in practice it’s next to impossible not to look at the waveform, the phase meter or the BPM calc even if you hide them. I’m certainly not strong enough to resist them!

    • markospolydorou

      To be honest, i’m not that old but I think it’s fair to say that “should” could still be the word to use here. Let’s be real, there are a lot of DJ’s who wouldn’t be DJ’s today if the digital era didn’t come around. Technology made it easier for everyone with a laptop to get into mixing music, so you find those who never would have given the art form of mixing vinyl a change, running to websites and torrent clients to download the software to play around.

      Don’t get me wrong, technology has pushed the art of DJing forward (no doubt) and I think it’s amazing that so many people want to get into it but for those wanting to be a professional at something, you need to be trained accordingly. As a new DJ, I’m not saying you have to forget about the laptop. By all means, play with the sync button. Find your sound and the tools that you love working with, but in terms of the creative process it’s nice to step away from all of that every once in a while and go back to the feel of vinyl. You can never go wrong.

  • Roberto Manias

    As a DJ that has been on the CDJ side for about 10 years now…this whole article got my attention because I’m about to step from the CD’s that I’ve been clinging to, over to a MacBook Pro…

    …but never really started on vinyl.

    I love vinyl, don’t get me wrong. There are inherent niggles, sounds, creaks and pops that 01010011’s can’t really recreate. But I think the biggest hurdle that was removed and barrier to entry for a lot of people to pick up this skill, practice it and try it was the threshold of cost.

    A set of really good 1200’s would run several hundred dollars, maybe even into the low $1000’s for the pair, if you were really finicky and wanted sequential serial numbers (true story, I know a guy like that.) And then there was the cost of the vinyl and then the time, and then the effort and then the practice and then the daunting task of needles, slip mats, etc etc.

    When digital showed up in the early 00’s in earnest and the SW came along to really help out, that barrier fell as fast as the cost of technology could allow for. So then IMHO there was this flood of talent (hey…myself included) that went the way of the CD.

    Several thousand songs and about 40 lbs of CD’s later…I’m ready to embrace the last step into the fully digital realm. Am I sad that I never started on vinyl? No. Do I wax nostalgic about that era? For sure. It’s what I saw as a teenager growing up in the 90’s. Guys meticulously crafting sets with that black gold, being spun at 33 1/3, 5 minutes at a time…watching the notes flow off of the 12″ like it’s in a cartoon.

    That for me is the essence of the article here. I can sense it in a lot of peoples comments too.

    I was a ‘CD-snob’ if you really want to slap a title onto me. Looking at the laptop generation as a space-bar slapping group. But then again…I slap ‘Cue’ and ‘> ||’ repeatedly myself (along with a bit of vinyl action on my CDJ-800’s) just to get a feeling of sitting there with a record on the decks and imagining a MacBook…so I don’t have to lug the 21st century version of the ‘crate’ around; my 40lbs of CD’s. 🙂

  • 1001lee

    Disclaimer: Sorry for the wall of text……………………………………………………………….. When I started playing (practicing and learning would be a better word probably) I didn’t even have turntables, neither did I have CDJ’s … I played on 2 Yamakashi Dvd players that had a +/- 4% pitch control on their remotes (I imagine you are laughing hard but don’t, its the best I had at the time) and a shitty reloop mixer, no Cue buttons, no pitch bend function. My mixes sounded awful, as you would assume, but I kept practicing like that for no less than 2 years I think. After that, i stepped behind some lousy reloop cdj’s (rc500 mk2 or something like that if i recall correctly), and it was like, damn, beatmatching is actually too easy with pitch bend, and a decent pitch! Shitty as it was, the Reloops broke down in like 1 year, even though I was extra careful with them, being pretty poor all my life, and knowing I couldn’t afford new ones (I’m from eastern EU, don’t ask). After that I started using Traktor, without any midi control, as I was still (and still am) learning, I used to stick post it stickers over the bpm counter in Traktor (y, I really had post it stickers almost permanently on my display), and continued to practice my beatmatching over my master output, no headphones obviously (yep, discovered asio too late,XD).
    So, where am I heading with all of this? After some time I got to play some gigs in my hometown, and some private parties, I came across different types of equipment, from lousy Numarks with 50% knobs missing, to brand new Pioneer mixers & CDJ’s, most modern midi controllers etc. And you know what, every time i stepped behind them, it felt like it was too easy to mix with it. Not because it really is, but because nothing could surprise me anymore, every piece of gear was better than mentioned 2 dvd players, and I felt no fear or anxiety while stepping behind any of those “real” setups. And after upgrading beyond measure, I never turned down a gig, even if I had to mix with mouse and keyboard in Traktor only (easier than you think, if you really know your music well, and tbh, I’m kinda much more gentle on the faders when using the mouse :DDD). If you love what you do, and are committed to it, equipment will always come in second place, and at the moment when you feel confident enough about yourself, and your music selection, it will become totally irrelevant, because you will be able to play on almost anything. You wont get the perfect sounding set every time, but some of the best sets I heard in my life, weren’t actually technically perfect, far from it. Bottom line is: you need to practice a lot, really, a lot, and don’t get caught in the marketing games big names play, because you don’t really need a 2000$ mixer for learning, all you need are 2 channels, a pair of headphones, and a lot, I mean a lot of hard work. (sorry for lousy English)

  • Parker De La Rocca

    13 years I did play vinyl only, but what I play today is lossless digital from the whole signal way and I never will go back because of the sound! Vinyl is a nice thing, but you will have more music and a better sound when playing digital! Don´t play digital, play vinyl only is like don´t drive a car, better ride a horse! I don´t understand these conversations…

  • DigitalGeek

    i learn playing with vinyl and I’m happy with new technology,
    in the past the record cost 10 to 25 euros (for one or two song you like )
    so it was hard except for the son of the rich to buy a lot of vinyl (a decent collection)
    today each digital song cost 1.50 euros and i never make a crazy collection like this of song that i couldn’t with vinyl
    you wrong in certain point (not all) but young people which haven’t learn technics deck, the syncro button allow them to focus they ear on the music if they want too (i know many prefer press a button and watch people look at them as a top dj …) how many people that i have meet in my life that never done a syncro beat with technics ? does it mean they should stop ? i don’t believe in this , the art can start from nowhere until it is art and i think the musical world had never been that rich in musical culture as now. with the world wide web and new mixing console, of course 80 % even more are shit Dj but what about them within 5/10 years ?
    the ear grow naturally with the music ,
    at 16 year old i was playing Banzai Record shit and 20 years later i play Deep House/House Music very underground on Ibiza thing

    i will continue to play with my S4 but would love back to vinyl but how much will they cost?

  • Léo Darmon

    Very good but what about DVS Systems?
    You didn’t even mention it once, although it is the best compromise for young DJs that can’t afford to dig & buy a vinyl collection but still want to honor the art by going as much as they can for learning with Turntables.

    • markospolydorou

      Good point. I thought about including this idea into the article but I really wanted to focus on the bare bones of traditional mixing which includes the traditional way of purchasing music for that platform (i.e. digging for records). Not saying DVS’ aren’t a good solution – they are – but the urge to use the sync button is there, and the temptation to focus on the laptop increases.

      • Mutis Mayfield

        For most of the genres out there dvs saved the turntable. Without these extra relevance in djing most of the latest turntables never came. Even the technics brand didn’t survive to the advance in technology (drived by capitalism and maybe unncessary in musicality terms but our reality due we are arguing thanks to inernet not thanks to morse)

        So there are lots of benefits learning from turntables but dvs increase them without lost… You could put off the dvs a d use the analog side of turntable eveytime you want.

        If we are going to argue purity of sound talk about needles, about cables, about keeping the records in good shape… And how much time and knowledge it needs. Put all in a balance and try to keep it reliable in capitalism society.

        Because we are talking about teach newbies maybe the most affordable, contextualized and near their reality are smartphones. Teach the basics with an smartphone if newbie love the “essence” then talk about history not oppossite because you are maintaining the mistake that maybe your teachers have done with you or you aren’t skilled to teach newbies if you didn’t uderstand that people learn drived by passion not by tradition.

        It is not personal, just my humble opinon with all my respect for your efforts but take in mind, please.

  • Virginaire

    Let’s face it. Not everyone can hear, hearing requires another factor which either you have it or you don’t. Vinyl will always sound better to me, always. More substance and feeling that punch is as close to being there with the band live. Digital fades a lot and can get distracting with too many effects. But at the end of the day whether on Vinyl, Computer or CDDJ, if you can’t feel the music and you really have a hard time finding the beat, then it’s going to be a long long path to even getting to the point of passibility. If you have a ear and are probably a musician at heart, no genre, bpm, vinyl or digital can hold you back. My tip, if you are a musician and a lover of music there is no question where you will start. Marco’s I agree completely, there is just a lot of big red button pushers out there. Electronic music has turned into what rock n’ roll turned into in the 80’s, Arena Jerk Off Time. When I see someone really in love with what they do, then I begin to fall again…

  • Erik

    the neverending discussion lol…

  • Miguel Uhzur

    but I desagree every word of the article. Reasons point by point:
    “Focus on your ears” – I absolutely only focus on my ears. If a track
    doen´t makes me feel anyting when I listen to it in the first time, I
    instantly discard it. “spend more time listening music” -I spend the
    whole day listening music, It doesn´t matter the format. more to say:
    Carrying an mp3 device makes possible to me to listen the music I love
    everywhere. “you learn to scratch” – You can scratch with a lot of well
    emulated devices professionally concepted to it. By the other side..
    why scratching should be a skill more important than looping or proper
    cueing?. “Respect For DJs That Came Before You” -This one really makes
    me laugh: Why I have to owe respect for a person only because he/she
    uses vinyl?. It makes his sets better? he can be a dumb or a bad
    selector. EVERY PERFORMANCE DESERVES RESPECT. Respect is something that
    you show voluntarily for someone according to your only personal
    reasons. “It Shows Your Dedication To The Art” -If you love music, you
    will love it above on the format. “It Will Focus Your Musical Taste” :
    – As a music lover, I have my own very well developed taste. I don´t
    collect anything I found. This point is more related about to be honest
    with yourself and your style. Even more, If someone wants to collect
    amounts of music in digital format, why he/she doesn´t have to have
    music taste? Please stop underestimating digital format. Vynil is only another media. ..written by a true music

  • Alec Vincent

    Oh please fuck off with this b.s. DJ’ing is so overrated, it isn’t an instrument. Who cares? Vinyl are so expensive these days and the kit required is just over the top price. At least with digital dj’ing more people can have access to it as a past time.

    Honestly, anyone who thinks that vinyl dj’ing is something special is butthurt because they can’t play an instrument and feel inferior.

    • Paddy

      I play multiple instruments and DJ using vinyl. My butt feels fine, thanks. In all seriousness, they are very comparable skills. I played drums and guitar for years before I started spinning, and that definitely helped me pick up beat matching very quickly (especially the drumming). I don’t have a problem with digital, I just choose not to use it for the most part because I simply do not find it fun or challenging in the slightest. That said, I will use it if absolutely necessary (spinning unreleased tunes by friends/myself). Furthermore, some of my favourite DJs perform solely digitally (Ableton Live sets etc.), but that tends to be specifically their own music (Shackleton etc). Either way this article raises some totally valid points in terms of being selective with the music you play out. I know that every tune I buy is one that I love because of the financial aspect. The very fact that I have to be so selective with my music allows my sets to stand out from a lot of my peers when it comes to spinning live (not to mention those tasty vinyl exclusives).

  • John Donner

    Any good DJ will not just go out and download a track all Willy Nilly without any consideration to quality. This is something that a bad DJ will do. I know guys with tens of thousands of vinyls and not all of them are good. Lot’s of people buy vinyl just to buy it. You either have musical culture or you don’t…You can either play or you can’t,and the machinery doesn’t matter,it’s you ability to match notes and harmonies that matter. These kinds of articles create an unhealthy polarization in the DJ community,and it gives people who play vinyl,a false sense of superiority over digital DJ’s. Very few DJ’s out there today play only vinyl,and this notion of not respecting those who came before you when you’re on a digital platform is ludicrous. I guess this is the way that we generate interest in our domain,and I for one think that it’s not very interesting. Sensationalism will always skewer facts and replace them with popularist mumbo jumbo. Your mixes will either expose you as a good DJ or a bad DJ,and if you think that being ecclectic is bad…Then Moodymann should never be able to command what he commands for his shows.

  • Bass

    which model is good for begginer? (cheap)

  • Muggers

    Good article, as a beginner DJ I would have loved to have started on vinyl but cost and space restraints in a small apartment make using a controller just a far more practical option at this point.

  • noxxi

    yeah, because if you don’t use vinyl ypu have no respect, no ears and no dedication. or other vinyl using djs cant see it and accept you into their elite cool guy club.

    tell me, how do you manage to even see the mixer with your head up your own ass?

  • Guest

    i started on vinyl, but this is still just another one of those articles where a vinyl dj condescends everyone for not using vinyl.

    I mean your saying my ears dont work, i have no respect for the djs who came before me, that i should somehow show my dedication to the art (by using turntables and turntables only). and that i should only have 1 genre of musical taste!

    We’ll i ditched my vinyls pretty quickly, and took up virtual dj, you should have seen the setups i had to use, chopped up pc keyboards and hacked mouses with a 2 channel mixer. i paid my dues in dedication to the art, even when no one was listening.

    Still over all the years, it seems that vinylists just cant seem to let go of their own self appreciating usage of outdated technology. you might as well just get a big tattoo that says “i’m better than you” on your head!

    Don’t tell me that i’m not dedicated, or that i have no respect. who do you think you are?

  • Ryan Supak

    I agree with most of it, but not the part about sticking to one subgenre of music. The best thing about technology getting better, for me, was that I could play fluidly across all genres without having to carry a van full of vinyl around. I don’t feel that it stunted me musically to be eclectic instead of narrow in that way.

  • fg

    A really good article

    I have been djing for over 25 years and used vinyl cdj and computer base

    I think the problem is you see so many young djs and 75 % of them don’t even buy their mp3s they download them illeagley and say they can play any thing you want which is sad.

    A good test for you new djs is if you where playing an one hour set at 3 different gigs one night and you only had to pick 100 tracks you would find it very hard, its not always about playing the very latest hits, its about getting a feel for the crowd and not repeting what the last dj before you played.

    I think with the vinyl and to some extent the cd era you had to physicly buy your records with your own money,as you could not copy or download for free. so when when we wre starting out you could not always get the latest tunes every week so you had to be selective.

    if you look at the top djs they are all in there 40s and 50s and started off that way and the young djs all sound and play the same which is very sad and should not be happinig

  • fg

    A really good article

    I have been djing for over 25 years and used vinyl cdj and computer base

    I think the problem is you see so many young djs and 75 % of them don’t even buy their mp3s they download them illeagley and say they can play any thing you want which is sad.

    A good test for you new djs is if you where playing an one hour set at 3 different gigs one night and you only had to pick 100 tracks you would find it very hard, its not always about playing the very latest hits, its about getting a feel for the crowd and not repeting what the last dj before you played.

    I think with the vinyl and to some extent the cd era you had to physicly buy your records with your own money,as you could not copy or download for free. so when when we wre starting out you could not always get the latest tunes every week so you had to be selective.

    if you look at the top djs they are all in there 40s and 50s and started off that way and the young djs all sound and play the same which is very sad and should not be happinig

  • Roland Lauridsen

    Nice reading material! :O)

  • ohyeahpaulchin

    This is a great article (if not a little wrought with a noticeable bit of bias). I’m inclined to agree with much of the reasoning, especially given my background. I grew up in the Cayman Islands where everything has to be imported at EXORBITANT duties, and there are ZERO record stores to speak of. Needless to say, I didn’t even see an SL-1200 until I was 20 and living in Toronto.

    When I started DJing, I started on a DVS system by (M-Audio’s now discontinued Torq, to be specific). As a lifelong fan of DJing, researching everything until such time as I could actually participate, I like to think my understanding of the craft was fairly balanced. It was for this reason I opted for diving in with a DVS rather than anything else: the same feel and physical dynamic of DJing on vinyl, without the prohibitive cost of a performable vinyl collection (which I have since built up, and played out).

    I currently play on Traktor with a Z2 mixer or A10 + control vinyl, and couldn’t be happier. I’ve used CDJs and even dabbled with controllers, and continue to make efforts to stay abreast of what’s current, so I’m familiar with the current climate in the culture, but I honestly think my introduction to the craft via a (then) limited avenue has certainly made me more flexible and a recipient of all the above-mentioned benefits. It’s a shame DVS doesn’t get as much love from Serato and Traktor anymore, but it’s never really been about the elaborate gear for us, has it?

    TL;DR: I highly recommend all new DJs jump in with DVS, and then branch out!

    • CUSP

      That’s an interesting point. In places where there is a lot of sand and even a little wind, Vinyl becomes a liability.

  • Lakatta

    This is great. And my comment is long winded. Stupid or not, I don’t care.

    I started with 2 technics, a mixer from radioshack, and run dmc’s peter piper, because it was all I could afford on the credit card. When you had to spend 10 bucks for an import single, and 20 or more for a compilation you had no choice but to be selective and learn your music. 2 turntables taught me how to mix a 33 1/3 with a 45 speed record and keep the sync while getting the next 2 to 3 records to mix and putting in a scratch sample or two before the transition. Mix the same record with quick loops, juggle, and get the next on.

    You get the picture. I felt that where I was, we were not buying the most popular, we were buying the stuff that made people bounce and had never heard of. If a popular artist put out crap, you didn’t play crap. If a song was – goldend – you would buy all 3 copies in that shop so someone else in the area wouldn’t have that record. People never heard of Greyboy, MoWax records, Etnica, Noom records, Choci + EC1, but they all bounced to it.

    The controllers make the transition easier for mixing when you are forced to work with what you have when you come from a vinyl background. I can multitask more and add in what I have always wanted to do with a controller, using – oh God! – the sync button. With vinyl I couldn’t do the scratches and samples while having 2 records playing simultaneously (poor kid – no 3 turntables). I’m having the kid start digitally, and haven’t even said what a sync button does.

    To keep it in perspective, cost is a huge factor. What can you afford to start on (how much do you have on your credit card) and where do you want to take it, and be sustainable. Is it a hobby, or do you want to do it for real? The guy who introduced me to trance and house on vinyl gave me the best advice. You may not even know the name of a record, but when you see that sleeve, you will know song as if it is a part of you.

    Then again, for those just starting, and can afford both, I want to know what you do legally for a living to afford it. I miss my 3 kids. The twins, tech and nic, and the middle child mixer.



  • steve brown

    for any and all debating against “SHOULD” learn on vinyl


    just try it. turn off the computer and play some records, just see what you’ve been missing, then decide

    • CUSP

      Ok, so for those of us who not only tried it, but decided against it because it doesn’t “do it” for them… then what? Are we to be sidelined? Humiliated? Chastised? Hated for wanting to do this in some way which goes against tradition?

  • flopdog

    I’m an old school 70s/80s/90s DJ who some of you might know. I played at Better Days five nights a week for nine years after Tee left. If you’re at all interested who I am, that should tell you.

    In theory, it’s a great idea, but it’ll never happen. The hardware is
    expensive, but realistically, the software (vinyl) is literally
    impossible to get. You guys playing vinyl have taken decades to build
    your collections, some of which are probably worth a million bucks.

    I’ve not only replaced my entire vinyl collection with lossless files, but
    probably increased it 300%. I can never lose or misplace them. They will
    never skip. I don’t need turntable suspension. My hi res vinyl rips
    will sound better on an SBS system than your 30 year old vinyl on 1200s.
    I have as many copies of rarities as I want. I’m not trying to be
    self-aggrandizing; I was a decent vinyl DJ, but I can do so much
    more digitally it’s just not comparable.In 1982 I started bringing
    electronics into the booth, plus additional production equipment and
    keyboard players. Traktor and Abelton in the club are just the progeny of what
    we were doing in 1982.

    I think you can train a new DJ to understand that it’s not the equipment
    talking to the crowd, but your trained DJ mind and DJ ears. Equipment becomes transparent and it’s all upstairs. Musical structure hasn’t changed.

    The only thing that matters is what come out of the speakers.

    Please don’t get mad, just my $.02.


  • DJ1-8

    I understand the sentiment behind this. But for me it’s more a case of focusing on what the latest technology still allows in terms of the DJ being an artist. Just because DJs can now bring 60,000 tracks to a gig doesn’t mean anything if you don’t know what to do with them. I came to DJing late and so have always used controllers (initially) and then CDJs & USB. But that doesn’t mean I download stacks of the obvious stuff. I’ve created an identity, the centre of which is the music. Even though I only started DJing 8 years ago I’ve been collecting the music for almost 20 years and have only just tipped over the 1500 mark for tracks in my collection. I’m THAT picky. If I don’t love it I don’t play it. I have the same approach as old-school DJs of picking out a vibe and creating a musical journey for a night rather than just trying to satisfy everyone. It’s subtle. No feeling like creeping the sound into peoples heads and gradually seeing some toe-tappers and head nodders spread about the place before the dancers can’t help themselves. If someone doesn’t like my music in a venue, so be it. I’m not about to change it for one opinion. You get what I bring. You can still have this approach with the latest gear. But I get the feel and skill of knowing your decks and records.

  • Robert

    How can I remove a comment I made about this article because I don’t want to be part of this kind of stupidness.

    • Richard Schmidt

      You should be able to delete from the main Disqus profile page. It tracks all your comments. Click on the “View in Discussion” button and it’ll show you the drop-down to delete it.

      • Robert


  • Richard Schmidt

    What the article is saying is that by using Vinyl, you’re forced to accept some foundational aspects that teach you to be a better and more discerning listener, and therefore a better DJ. It’s totally possible to learn these skills without ever touching Vinyl, but using Vinyl is guaranteed to teach you the foundations, along with a little bit of street-cred besides.

    However, there are dips into personal-bias (it’s an opinion piece) which sour what could have been an open conversation and I disagree with those specific sentences. Still, I appreciate the overall spirit of the author’s intentions.

    • CUSP

      Yes. Unfortunately, the medium became the important part, not the topic. I strongly endorse learning every topic in the article, but feel it could have been worded differently to avoid this Vinyl vs. Digital debate. There are obviously some people out there (why they’re here is a mystery) whom feel it is their job to defend their “Religion.”

  • Ezmyrelda

    Oh, God! The DOGMA! IT BURNS!

    Seriously though.. It always happens when someone even touches upon this subject.

    As a lover of vinyl and a person that received their first DJ experiences using records I have to say that there is a huge benefit to learning the fundamentals of the trade on wax.

    Most relevant is the appreciation for the time you have to do other things after you press “That goddamned sync button”.

    Opinions.. In my opinion I have not once ever seen a digital DJ that blew me the fuck away. I have watched an Italian DJ beatmatch a track in under 10 seconds using only the pitch fader. No platter.

    I have seen digital DJs getting gigs at clubs fuck up transitions because their grids were shit. I have seen more knob fiddling masturbation since digital became popular than I care to recall.

    The topic here isn’t what you should use everyday because that’s what we think is good. The topic is why DJs SHOULD learn how to mix on vinyl and why.

    The problem I see with sync isn’t that it’s so easy it stops people from doing something they could just as easily do themselves. The problem with sync is that it gives shitty DJs that have only used computers to mix more time to make useless microadjustments nobody can hear and more time to do irritating effects clusterfucks that break the flow of the music.

    Yes, I primarily use sync.. I just don’t have decks right now.. But I also have a griffin powermate hooked up and keymapped to be pitch for A/B and Master tempo.

    Learning certain things on vinyl with a physical mixer in front of me made me better at certain things I just couldn’t fucking learn without physical controls in front of me.

    So when I use that fucking sync button it comes with the appreciation of knowing what and who came before me and how they did it. It comes with the respect of knowing that using equipment with limits made a whole generation of vinyl DJs just plain better than their digital counterparts.

    As to availability… I think saying that vinyl is no longer available in some places ON A VENUE ON THE INTERNET is absurd. Vinyl is available.. So are shitty belt drive decks. Don’t want to learn on shitty belt drive decks? Your loss.

    Respect and appreciate your roots. Dispense with the DOGMA. If you are committed to the art and craft of DJing you will take every opportunity to learn things to incorporate.

    DJing is NOT confined to vinyl and it is certainly not confined to digital. But it WAS born on vinyl and PERFECTED by people using imperfect equipment.

    I will take a DJ on vinyl nudging a track back into alignment over a cookie cutter digital DJ masturbating with effects knobs and constantly redlining any day of the week.

    • CUSP

      You say the dogma burns, but then espouse your own dogma? I don’t understand this conundrum. No one is the expert on the right way to play music, or even what constitutes good music, so why should any format be “the best” to learn on?

      • Ezmyrelda

        Results. I have no dogma concerning how one learns to do something they love as long as they are able to do that “thing” whatever it is at the end of the day. If one can’t learn certain things on decks.. That’s unfortunate.. I feel it’s their loss. but absolutes are lame. I expressed a personal opinion. Doesn’t mean I think it’s the ONLY way to do anything..

        • CUSP

          Fair enough.

    • Mutis Mayfield

      Your are talking about the tool not the medium. Agreed in form not in essence because one person could learn the same and more with NS7 than two tt but the dogma is coming from “the defenders of the purity” when the reality is most of these are incappable of understand what they are really doing, only repeating themselves (and others) the same learned mantram without asking themselves about essentially truth.

      I know it is not your situation but we need to be polish in our argumentation if we want to contribute in “love” path and believe me I was very angry in the past trying to teach who doesn’t want to learn… At last “make your own” should be the best “example” 😉

      I still wonders sometimes about hacking cdx and so… I will put my research in new blog soon but only to keep it for truth searchers… Being truth “the things you do with deep hearth understanding” and what are unique for every individual far from any kind of dogma.

      Walk on…

      • Ezmyrelda

        Oh, I have opinions on why I think people should at least respectfully acknowledge in their education the medium but I haven’t been able to formulate them into words that don’t sound like religion or spirituality.. I try to keep them to myself mostly but the sum is that they are a special type of archival medium with certain physical properties that lend a bit of mystique to them.

        • Mutis Mayfield

          Agreed. it is a deep discussion which usually goes wrong due to the lack of love trying share our thoughts without make a dogma. Even a faith one.

  • markospolydorou

    The internet will never fail at pissing people off…no matter how nice you try to make a post sound….LOL

    Keep the comments coming guys! Really appreciate everyones feedback and thank you for being so involved. It’s great to see so many passionate artists speak their mind.

  • ithinkmynameismoose

    Tell you what DJTT From now on I’ll buy all my controller and CDJ related products from Sweetwater and turntable kit from you. Hint, I don’t use one of those methods.

  • Erick Flores

    Learn to beatmatching with cd players or with turntables is the same, the technique is the same. The vinyls are in the past, the cd’s too, but is important learn to beatmatching, split your ears etc. But the future and the present are digital and that reality don’t will be changed.

    • flopdog

      I’m not a vinyl DJ any more but there is a tactile element in mixing vinyl that doesn’t exist in CDJs. I’m totally Traktor/Abelton, but I played vinyl for twelve years and nothing is like actually manipulating the record.

      I don’t think vinyl is necessary or even advisable, but it was a lot different to do a night on vinyl. I FAR prefer digital DJing now….

  • Absolutely Stretch

    Bit of a conservative point of view. Also, the argument stated in the article is a fallacy the size of an elephant. Beatmatching is a skill you need to obtain if you want to mix by ear. Mixing: using the EQ, effects and selection especially, be it on vinyl, cd or midi is the true art.

  • hang the dj

    “the art of DJing” lol

  • PeterPepper

    Markos, I don’t particularly disagree with all your points. There is great value to learning how to dj on vinyl; I for one feel blessed to have had the opportunity to do so. I mix digitally now, but that early experience definitely helped me hone my craft.

    That being said, you’ve made some poor choices here that I think cloud your best points. Let’s just go with the main idea here – New Djs Should Start on Vinyl. I really must disagree with you there, and for the following reason:

    Vinyl dj’ing is prohibitively expensive. If you’re just looking into whether dj’ing is right for you, it doesn’t make sense to spend hundreds, even thousands, to get a proper system. Many people already have computers, whether for work or school or gaming or whatever. Software can be cheap/free, likewise digital music. If you actually want MORE people practicing this craft – something I suspect many vinyl dj’s actually fear – then you should embrace the technological advances that have democratized what was once a much harder hobby to get in to.

    That being said, I think it’s more reasonable to ask that newer djs try to learn about spinning vinyl, and to take advantage of any chances to do so. By all means, if someone has access to decks, they should get on for at least an hour. But to imply that someone needs to master the art to appreciate it, is somewhat absurd.

    In another comment reply, you claim that you were “merely just trying to encourage those interested in DJing to learn to use their ears first, then move to more advance technology to expand their knowledge.” I think it would be worth meditating on alternative ways to achieve this. Teaching greenhorns how to appreciate music and how to understand the art of vinyl mixing would be much more effective, I think, than your approach here. e.g. Working hard to teach the newer generations about the progression of hip hop and electronic music, especially with an emphasis on showing how the history of vinyl dj’ing brought us to where we are today.

    The only way I was able to get a taste of vinyl mixing is that I once had a roommate with decks, and he was nice enough to let me practice. At that time I never had more than a month’s rent in my name at any given time – there’s no other way I would have had a chance to learn how to spin.

    If anything, I would encourage new users to use whatever they can afford and/or whatever makes them feel most comfortable. Frankly, starting with vinyl is probably a bad career move, as you need more time/effort to hone your skills and you’ll be behind trends. If you just want to spin some funk 45s at the bar down the street, then yeah, start with vinyl.

    Alternatively, your advice might be best for someone who’s more in the intermediate range – e.g. a dj who’s just starting to get gigs around town, but is unsure how to take their mixing/song selection/audience reading to the next level.

    • Ezmyrelda

      I know a great many excellent DJs that got their start from second hand decks and hand me down house vinyl. Vinyl is only prohibitively expensive if you confine your choices to prohibitively expensive tools.

      • Mutis Mayfield

        Well there was a time where if you didn’t have a pair of technics you wasn’t a real dj…

        Nowadays it still more cheap buy a tablet than a pair of used superoems (almost in my country) and you still need mixer, music… Or laptop to attach a dvs! Why not go in te opposite route buying and learning with a computer tablet? Then if it worths the penny go for controller or turntables or sampler or…

        Djing was elitist and this discussion is about “why to keep it”

        • Ezmyrelda

          I suppose that might have been somewhat true at one point but it still doesn’t detract from my point that many a fine dj got their start on belt drive decks and crusty twice handed down old house tracks. I started out on techs sure.. still have a SL-3300 in the corner to listen to records. I’ve practiced at least a hundred hours on bd decks.. It’s irritating.. but either you learn how to beatmatch on bd decks and become great.. or you do it on direct drive and lose your shit if presented with anything else..

          As to learning on a tablet.. I suppose that is probably a solution for people with a different perspective.. But even with the software available today I think that’s a bit limiting in the wrong way.. Though that’s because I have a very specific history of using DJ apps for mobile devices.

          To me it’s not fun.. Which I think DJing and performance should be first.. then it’s limited and confining.. I know I can spin a house set or whatever using many of the android choices available.. but I’ll have a shitty time doing it.. Even as a digital DJ I’m a bit set in my ways.. As a means of performing a function.. in this case playing music. A tablet can serve just fine.. But if the function is allowing a dj to manipulate multiple things at the same time in a limited space.. I think a tablet is a bit too.. well to put it bluntly… smooth.. the feedback one receives ends once one looks away from that screen that both is the input and the output.

          In the terms of what my approach has been.. It’s unorthodox absolutely.. but it allowed me the flexibility to play exactly in the way that would benefit me the soonest.

          For many years I had to be satisfied with only a laptop and a novation nocturn.. I studied what was available and through the help of friends was able to get the mixer I wanted. A NI Z2. It doesn’t have a lot of features.. But what it does have are an absolute necessity for the lowest level functions of mixing music. it has gains, an EQ section, a filter section two channel faders and a crossfader.

          I was only limited by the ability match the beats if I allowed myself to think that a function I had mastered in the past was taboo to be handed off to the computer..

          And at this point I could care less of what other people think of sync because I have two track decks, a loop deck, and a twister deck to keep in time.

          The initial investment for me to learn the things I had been failing on was a decent USB scratch mixer..

          As far as I was and am still concerned.. The venue or party can foot the bill for decks, that I can use or not as my whim sees fit.

          Anyway.. Just my perspective.. A little bit of a rant but.. we have opinions and sometimes we try to stifle them.. sometimes not.

          • Mutis Mayfield

            At last there is no “better” option without “context”. I defended tablets today when these are common as walkman were in my young. Technics were expensive (because they are hifi gear) and belt drives unreliable for scratching (my background) so… As “teachers” we should have as a priority the student and its context over personal taste and tradition.

            I love turntables but my nephews don’t understand why use vinyl or cdj to mix two songs with moving (or pseudo) platters… When their smartphones do it as basic feature. In addition they can mix if they want but also do beats. When I had enough money to buy my first setup… I should choice between one turntable or one sampler (being cheaper the second one) and the first route need more gear to become an instrument (mixer, some battleweapons, updated needles…) lots of fun but no enough money to make it “sustainable” in my poor economy…
            As I said before I still have a tt500 and cdx05 with ttm but these came to me when someone drop them. Today I’m searching for standalone sampler with slicing, pitchshifting, multiple outs… And I can find nothing cheaper than ipad mini 2 and more featured. Mpc, roland VariOS, akai z8… Nothing is cheap compared to ipad and I can do more adding some apps (from djplayer to iMini…)

            Learn to mix? Learn music? Learn production? Turntables set was, is and will be expensive not only for tradition (the technics mantram) it will be expensive because these devices are one purpose machines with light and darkness…

            To start learn some “toyism” with smartphone or dad’s ipad (like we do with dad’s turntable) is the natural step to know if kids are interested in music. Later if they want to learn turntable (or guitar, or trumpet, or piano) it could be possible to help them to buy and learn. If you have these gear adquired and your kids could grow with them let’s go… But how many people (not dj) still has somekind of turntable at home? And how many has laptop, desktop or tablet?

  • CUSP

    Most of the same results can be achieved by sticking post it notes on your monitor over the deck areas… but you can also flip up the post-its to verify your results.

  • Lu Ynoji

    I went a bit berserk on this.. but here are my calm answers 😉 read everything as i was talking in a calm way.. otherwise some point might be very direct and insulting..

    before anything, never mixed on vinyl, and probably never will …. i come from a production background and started doing sets afterwards ( many here might have the reverse experience).. i have shown intrest but it didn’t click in my ” software ” mind

    my opinion

    1)By no means is it an article to bash computer based mixing, but more so an idea to learning the art of DJing properly and evolving from the basic foundations that our forefathers laid out for us…

    you used the word ” properly” in that sentence, so it’s is a bit of bashing ;), interpretation i guess

    2) i agree on using your ears, a bit silly on not using your ears and just focusing on screen activity.. But i honestly think the ” turntable fluctuations” are utter nonsense.. i do agree these fluctuations happen but to give that as an argument seems misplaced, this focuses on the whole beat matching idea, which to me is just a waste of time.
    i use Live in all my sets, so in terms of what weirdness you want to achieve in software.. you can make it very non robotic… if you only play gridded music ( i know every style is gridded is some way, but is see gridded music as techno, house, al all those 4/4 typa stuff), then it indeed is robotic, you shouldn’t keep playing the same bpm anyway..

    3)the “You Spend More Time Listening To Music” argument also seems , mjehhh

    taking the top 30 from a website and playing those is entirely your choise, don’t blame technology on that.. it is the human that does the actions..not the machine
    you can still be unique in what you do while still keeping it digital
    i do agree that crate digging will let you discover music you would probably( or it would have taken longer) never have discovered digitally( talking from own experience).
    but in terms of listening, you can decently listen to music in a digital format, it is again, the choice of the human , to skip, scroll and rattle through everything is a human error.. don’t blame technology on that..

    4) respect the ones that came before you just because they are older, fuck that…
    if they played a good set, absolutely yes.. other than that, don’t see why( in a musical sense, not day to day social interaction to be clear 😉 )..
    and selecting, labeling, getting to know everything digitally can equally be alot of work, it’s not because technology has come that suddenly all has become easier.. that is again, a human choice.. have you ever put a set together in Live or Traktor? the whole preparation takes quite some time, agian if you want to do something worthwhile listening to.. shifting bpm, styles etc..; if you play 2 hours at 140 sure that that will be a walk in the parc.. but if you focus an building arcs, tension, more of a non loopy set.. it will take some time, vinyl or not vinyl..

    5) it shows your dedication…. i mean really? on many stages you can’t even see the booth/gear.. and often people don’t give a rats ass on what you are doing… if what comes out of the speakers sounds awesome, you are having fun, they are having fun.. then you mission has succeeded..
    if you want to impress fellow dj in the booth, do that with sound, not with gear.. and again, impressing crowds is done by sound, not by gear… if you do you set with 2 ipods and a mixer, but absolutely play something nobody has heard before, they’ll sure won’t say a thing on what gear you use..
    logging around crates of vinyl is just impractical, traditional or not, it’s impractical, having all the sounds and software you think is interesting on a laptop is waaay more sensible… taking unnecessary iitems which you can lose, can get damaged, etc is just to much hassle to ” hopefully show off” how dedicated you are.. again, it is about sound, and having a awesome inspiring time

    6) again , don’t blame technology on not being able to mix/switch style, that is by the lack of knowing software.. not the lack that software cant do it.. agian, human error, not machine..

    In general, i am certainly not against learning anything, if you have an interest in anything then you should learn it…and if you enjoy learning it , then you should keep learning it, full stop

    However, like you said, there are things that are impractical and also just unnecessary in a actual ” on stage” situation

    for home use, sure, if you don’t own any vinyl try timecode… and even for on stage, timecode has proven to be pretty good if you want to stick to the vinyl thing,, wanted to use it myself , since you can get lost in the whole controller thing, , but i figured Live was just a better choice for me..

    again, all written with a calm voice and state of mind ;)…i am also quite direct in real life.. so no internet hiding here 😉

    • CUSP

      Right there with you.

      • Hans


    • Siana Gearz

      You say “human error” a lot, but no human is perfect. In my opinion, we’re extensions of our tools, to an extent, the abilities of the tool, the ease with which something can be done on them, is going to shape our interactions with the tool and the way we use it.

      So i can totally see the point of the article, that learning vinyl and having some practice on it is probably good for you, because it might help you become a better connoisseur of music and a better craftsman, as you will have retained some of the traits that you learned from interacting with music that way, and gained more skills and traits from interacting with it through any other device that you chose to use.

      Though it’s such a blessing to not be tied to vinyl any longer, it really is. And i have experienced it time and time again that the most ardent proponents of vinyl-only and haters of new technology can’t actually perform.

      • Lu Ynoji

        i can’t agree more 😉
        as i mentioned, if you see benefit from learning a skill ( any skill) than you should do that, totally
        most of the time you learn things from the places/people you didn’t expect them to learn it from

    • Jayson Thomas Stefanek


  • Nathan Nelson

    I learned to DJ on a laptop…but I was using my mouse to move the pitch fader. In fact I only settled with Traktor because the software fader had the best “feel”, if that makes sense! Now I’m trying to build a vinyl collection to stand alongside my digital one.

    I think this mans words make a lot of sense, but I do feel that it is quite genre specific. I’m a techno/house DJ, where vinyl is still seen as the benchmark. Were I a top 40 hip hop DJ or something, I wouldn’t even bother with vinyl.

    Vinyl does, above all else, offer authenticity. It’s literally so easy to become a DJ now, seriously. Just think about the fact that all you need is a software program and a good sync button.

  • steve brown

    Nice article. Well written, and precisely true. Dont sweat the naysayers, if theyre genuinely into djing they will eventually find their way to or back to vinyl. They need to read articles like this. There is just something about a needle in a groove, and tts are moving, so they have an energy. Software is distracting, and you realize that as soon as you turn off the computer.

  • anonyme

    hum its like give to a novice a ferrari to begin its hard and long and maybe inadapted for their financial ressources whatever the support of starting cds vinyls or controller if you want to learn how fill pitch just remove sync and ear your bpms then if u have a cd or controller u can boost your learn with some effects hotcues loops reverse …. all that u can do with some new vinyls decks looping or reverse but will be harder so just help them to found the good config for each ppl with some exemples of configs listed by several djs u have some exemples on tube one of them by chris liebing “how i play” … we should do the same each others to help beginners to choose 😉 internet=share your experience and skill 😉

    • LoopCat

      It’s more like giving someone a manual transmission to begin with so they know how gears work and so that they can jump into a manual in an emergency and drive one.

  • Mike Davis

    true words!!! I’m Dj since 1982 and sometimes it’s a desaster to see how some people call themself DJ cause they think they have a laptop mit music on it!!!

  • LoopCat

    It’s not essential, but its a good way to make sure you have the basic’s locked in. I started by mixing on CDJ’s at a friends place, basically matching the numbers up and hitting play at the start of the next phase, barely touching the platter and guessing which way I need to nudge it. That all changed when I bought two 1200’s you can’t fake it with them, you’re forced to learn how to beat match properly and to train your ears and to use the pitch fader properly. It feels allot better knowing that you have the skills under your belt even if you don’t need them 90% of the time. Nothing more awkward than watching someone try to beat match out of a record, who has no idea how to beat match by ear.

  • Roberto Cravallo

    i´m spinning vinyl as a dj since 1983 and it´s still the best for me. but i respect all the serious artists too that decided to use the digital way! its the music not the dj and its the artist not the gear that counts.

    • LeRobot

      Same here! I’m out there DJ’ing since 1982. And did it professionally up to approx 2005, touring North America and Europe. Now I produce. Listening-knowing your music really well – organizing your DJ set as “organically as possible (freedom of multiple choices) will bring out the best in your passion and will translate to the dance floor. The rest, how you manage to do it, is really not that important. DJing is about energy in room that all could benefit from. It goes from the dj to the crowd and then back to the DJ. Listening and feeling the vibe is what a DJ is all about. What all his (her) decisions should source from, not the brand of material he (she) is using. Now SYNC that in your mindsets! 🙂

      DJ Stormbass (aka LeRobot)

      • LeRobot

        Great set there Roberto. Cheers man!

  • Skrug Atanassov

    Anyway…a bit broken english may be, but what the fuck is mono stick?

    • Patrick Denny

      A headphone for only one ear kinda

  • Kim Haesebrouck

    I totaly agree. By playing vinyl, you learn how music is built by learning how to beat- and loopmatch. I used to realy hate digital dj’s. Nowadays it doesn’t bother me anymore. If digital is your thing, then just go with it. But at least LEARN HOW TO BEAT- AND LOOPMATCH. It can only benifit you… Ask yourself this question: if you pre-pitch your tracks to the same bpm and pre-install all your que-points, where is the art in it? Do you realy feel you’re in control by launching everything by fader-start? Truely digital has pro’s, but please don’t degrade the beautiful art of dj’ing buy letting the computer do everything for you…

    • CUSP

      Setting cue points are supposed to help the DJ jump to (or at least mark) a point in a song where the DJ can easily cue up their next played part. If you play exactly the same set every time, that’s not being creative, but using tools to help you get where you want to go should not be seen as a lesser form of doing things. That position just makes a person seem elitist.

  • Conor Smith

    Loving my reinstated man-cave 🙂

  • Niels

    There’s a few things i’d like to comment on after browsing the comments section of this article. First off, the fact that vinyl is much more expensive and therefore too highbrow for your average deejay. In europe 2 1200’s and a 2 Channel mixer will set you back about a 1000 euro’s. Given the price of laptops and controlers hardly that much more expensive.

    Second: the availability of vinyl. I’ll readily admit that we have more acces to record shops, but even in the States there are plenty of shops that will mail records to you at decent prices: halycon nyc, dope jams, Amoeba music, etc. And believe me when i say that a record stays longer in your radar than a digital file. It has to do with the physicality of it, i think.

    There is something to be said for digging, especially older records. They give a dj set such a nice dynamic. I always care for dj’s that are able to draw lines between various eras and genres.

  • nenimoheaven

    I love this article! Vinyl sounds much better too!

    I started djing using virtual dj for a year till i got benched and looked down on at the bars and clubs by club owners and other djs using cdjs. Then i started to use cds on CDJs for a year before i started using serato for 4 years.

    The truth is i never had a unique style when spinning with serato and i got many requests which pissed me off, i also got bored relying on my computer screen which wasn’t challenging . Worst of all i never felt fulfilled using a computer and timecode vinyls/cds.

    A DJ is an artist that has a style by the record he spins. The best fans to have are the fans you have based on the records you love to spin not based on what they want to hear or tell you to spin.

    So many people turning DJs overnight because they can download mp3s, use computers and controllers which i don’t have a problem with; purchasing records encourages you to have a unique style not all around all genres and makes you handle these records and your needles with great care and lets you know your library.

    I am so glad i’ve been spinning vinyl records for 5 months now ,i understand the structure of songs better by ear, i can beat-match smoothly by ear and i actually know the songs i play better .

    As the saying goes anything worth doing is well ! Vinyl will never die !

  • Christopher Lattie

    It’s simple.. Just like you should learn to drive on a standard transmission. After you learn to spin & mix on tables you can mix on anything.

  • Onket The American Jungle

    Great Article!! 5starZ

  • Tim Maughan

    The fact that always get ignored in the debate: not everyone has access to vinyl. Dance music is a global community now, that stretches far beyond the urban centres of the US and Europe. Take a look at, say, India – the club scene there is booming right now, but a kid coming up there just won’t have access to vinyl, let alone be able to afford it. Same with China, Africa, South America etc…vinyl is a privilege. There’s no shame in starting to learn without it.

  • Umasuki

    Issue with vinyl for budding DJs is that the cost threshold is quite high, and so you’d need to be pretty dedicated or have quite a lot of cash to start down that lane. Yes, you can find cheap vinyls, but if you wanna spin your type of music then eventually you’ll end up having to cash out. And then there’s the decks as you mention, they can be quite pricey too along with a mixer. Vinyl isn’t dying, it’s becoming quite popular again. So I’d rather suggest just practicing at a nearby club if you have the chance, before making the commitment. (Similar to CDJs, few budding DJs come into a club knowing how to use those.)

  • Oryx

    I absolutely 200% agree. i’m still a bedroom dj, it started out 13 years ago, i sterted with decks, then a behringer mixer and 2 pioneer cdj-100’s, then a denon dnx-1500, 2 super OEM turntables and 2 dn-s3500’s the last one is till what i have now. But still the turntables, just the feeling of the vinyl, the cracks in them, the sleeves, even the smell, i love it. And being a day in the record store, the people you meet, the music you discover, nothing ever could change that feeling, you was feel “bonded” with the others, no rivalry but you learned a lot actually. Hey all those champain squirting superstar dj’s now, i want to see you work behind the decks, there is no time for champaign then ! at least not as long as you are behind the turntables.

  • Banz Blank

    I would love to play everything on vinyl and all, but i’m in Argentina & here new vinyl records cost arround 60 us dollars even more somethimes…

    • Kelly Myers

      Mail order from juno and have them mark the package “Promotion Copies Only”. While I was in canada ordering from them, records came every time without getting hit by customs.

      • Banz Blank

        that’s some awesome advice men, thanks a lot!

  • sixhats

    Another way to ‘meet in the middle’ is to try mixing with your midi contro?ler in scratch mode, mixing latin music like salsa and other live-recorded genres.
    Seamlessly mixing Fania, Hector Lavoe and DLG is a great way to figure our phrasing, timing and cuing while using DLG as a kind of metronome.

  • DJ Jules

    and you’ll save lot of money every time there is a new generation of CDJ or controller coming on the market. Moreover your Technics turntables price is rising up with time 🙂

  • Angelo Medina

    i wish i could have started on vinyl, but its too damn expensivvvvvv btw DJ Screwwwww, dope

  • MrhyperPants

    The thing that with mixing vinyl gives you is, when your playing a set and going though your record bag you stumble across a tune that you weren’t expecting to play but is right for the moment. As you see the record cover or a white label you haven’t played in a while and forgot was in there. Just doesn’t happen when you have 100’s and 100’s of tunes in a list on a screen.

  • Geert Rombouts

    as someone who only uses his technics this day as totally redundant heavy midi controllers for a traktor dvs system I must say this notion is completely bonkers and highbrow at the same time.

  • ithinkmynameismoose

    A biased love letter to outdated practices (Come on a section on crate digging?!) Give me a break! I’ll post a full response once I cool down a bit (this has me just a bit to fired up at the moment)

    • Kelly Myers

      Vinyl DJs dont’ need blinkies and flashies every week to appear in some store to stay interested or ahead of the game. We just need the records. A vinyl set up is cheaper than some of your pioneer CD players (one of them) and enjoy moving like bruce lee when on the decks. Way more fun than say standing around like george jetson pushing buttons don’t you think?

      • ithinkmynameismoose

        Cheaper absolutely. No argument here. Same goes for having more fun than just hitting sync. I was a bit vehement earlier but I stand by it. I leaned on CDJ 350s (barely any screens to begin with) and leaned to beatmatch by covering the screens and not allowing myself any features other than play, pause. Since then I have of course used vinyl on occasion. The transition was pretty seamless. A few minutes to get used to the size but the fundamentals were all the same. Plus I was already familiar with the format when it came time to use 2000’s. As far as the CDJ vs vinyl argument goes (again we have to ignore sync or I concede that it is pretty boring [unless you are Plastikman or Ean Golden with advanced setups which require sync sometimes.])CDJs allow you to do so many things that are impossible on vinyl. Hot cues, are you kidding me. Amazing feature and completely un, available on vinyl as are other features such as key lock, instant looping, massive library + track search. Yes vinyl DJs don’t need these features but also the big thing is they also don’t have them. I can say with absolute confidence that the ability to visualize, map, and jump through tracks with precision has made me a more creative DJ and has greatly improved my love of it. As far as, “moving like Bruce Lee” goes, Well yeah vinyl is the more popular option when it comes to scratching. That said there are some great CDJ scratchers as well. James Zabelia comes to mind. Its more of a personal choice and I can see the appeal of scratching on ‘the real thing’. Overall my point is however I think restricting yourself to the most basic form of the art (and actually not even at that…) is just that, restrictive. Creativity comes from change and growth (this is true in any industry).

  • Sevitzky

    The thing about “basics” and “forefathers” and all that stuff, is that you can keep going. In Pre-Historic Dance Music, turntable dance music techniques came to the states via Jamaican Dub and the dance-clubs of nazi Germany (to France, to LA), before Chicago and NYC came to be. House DJ’s were putting together the instrumental breaks from dancy-tracks. So you could say that you should learn to play a band instrument. And the basis of ALL US, band-based dance music is blues. No question. So put together the djembe and classical music (for all the chords), and THAT’S where you gotta start. (in fact, there are some people who try to draw a connection between Steve Reich and underground dance music. !!!)

    I got no problem with saying that you can expand your mind with vinyl. But I don’t think the argument can rest on the notion of “basics” or “origins” of the art. Cuz it just keeps going back; the record keeps spinning round and round!

    • ithinkmynameismoose

      Hey. You suck! Clearly living in caves and banging rocks together is the way to go! Remember Old is ALWAYS Better.

  • Pri yon Joni

    So should new authors also adapt this mentality and start on a typewriter? Or maybe a feather and an ink jar? I started on vinyl too but I don’t think looking to the past is the way to move forward. The art of DJing is not the art of using vinyl; it’s the art of “playing music”. Where is the “creativeness” in an art the adapts a traditionalist conservation attitude?

    • La grenouille

      did you read the article ? 😮

    • dbee

      There’s a HUGE difference between skimming over words, and actually reading and coming to terms with the meaning behind the words. You honestly have done the former. I shit you not.

      • PeterPepper

        There’s a huge difference between refuting the points of someone’s argument and offhandedly dismissing them with a comment about reading comprehension.

      • CUSP

        I cannot agree with you. Pri makes an excellent point by contrasting old and new technologies and similar disciplines.

        This article waded into old school hate of new school ways of doing things, and you just can’t do that without pissing some people off. Most of the same results can be achieved by sticking post it notes on your monitor over the deck areas… but you can also flip up the post-its to verify your results.

        You insist that Pri skimmed the article, but you have no foundation for that claim (it’s very hard to prove), refuting points should never come down to “you’re dumb, screw you.”

        • noxxi

          try telling that to kelly myers! the guys a fucking dumbass

          • CUSP

            I think Kelly is just committed to their agenda. Unfortunately, people who think like this either cannot or will not accept change, spitting bile, and hatred for anything that challenges their view. Nature shows us that “Anything that does not evolve, dies.” Let’s hope those resisting change eventually embrace those things which can help them get the results they want.

          • noxxi

            your absolutely right, i got into a flame war with him earlier but just gave up. you cant change people like that. its incredibly tiring and old. i’m not against vinyl at all, far from it, i think its cool, but my respect is rapidly dwindling. i see that a large group of these guys are just ass holes. they say we are killing the scene, yet they inject it with constant poisonous hatred. what can you do eh?

          • CUSP

            Simply be the best person/DJ you can be? Groove harder, be more interactive, and kick ass.

          • noxxi

            good advice for life in general.

    • PeterPepper

      On top of that, if you told the average vinyl dj 20 years ago that they should start on a grand piano, you’d have been told to swiftly fuck off.

      • Charly

        On the contrary, many of us have a distinct appreciation and respect for anyone who can play a musical instrument and agree that knowing how to do so will make you a better performer overall.

      • CUSP

        Having been there, yes, this was true. It was just as true for Hip Hop as it was for Rock, Techno, and Reggae. Internalizing the feel of music “the groove” is what makes great DJs. Do you have to play an instrument to internalize the music? No, but it helps to be able to make hand movements at a specific time, and it’s hard to do that without internalizing the groove. Foot tapping, head bobbing, finger tapping… all of these things are people’s basic ways of keeping time to the beat. A little body wiggle to the melody and you’re already there.

    • ZERO

      vinyl just sounds better and even if the crowd cant hear that, you should still appreciate the supreme quality of it. its just that vinyl reminds of the classic period when music was still kind of real and underground, in contrast with today’s obvious computer generated and commercially exploited music. also defining a style i think is very important, but nowadays everyone just wants instant satisfaction and requests the same cliche r&b songs over and over again. if you try to play something original, quite unheard of, people arent even willing to open up their tiny minds to that. its horrible, but STILL you should keep on just spinnin the music you think is something else and your own twist. i use a laptop and a controller myself at home, cant afford vinyl or cdjs just yet, and i like the early jazzy french touch, over chicago house, funk, disco all the way to 80s sounding nu disco. An oldskool soulful track with a human touch will always beat a computer generated drumloop, man, no denying… i dont know if the commercial society is to blame for the fact that everything starts to sound very “ableton” these days and lyrics are cheesy (top 40 radio music is the worst, that shit is just over and done for me, terrible stuff), it doesnt matter which tools you use, you should still look at yourself and be honest about you playing good music and adding something (however small) to dj history, or just playing what you are ‘supposed to be playing’… THAT i think is the formost art of the SELECTOR, which audible journey/universe are you creating, know what im sayin? i think thats already a lifetime’s worth of work :p sidenote: beatmatching by ear IS definitely an essential skill.

    • Arcendus

      You think digital music is “forward”? You lost all credibility before you could have gained it.

      • CUSP

        That’s your opinion, and you’re certainly welcome to it, but that’s not what we’re here for. We believe the future (for us) doesn’t adhere to your beliefs. If you don’t accept it, that’s your right, but you’re holding yourself back.

  • Mark

    Yep! Vinyl is a sold foundation for every DJs.

  • Bill Billski Margaritis

    Knowing how to mix vinyl feels somewhat like you’ve mastered a form of martial arts (especially if you can scratch). Mixing on a laptop feels kind of like flying through a game with cheats enabled. Whatever is more fun for the end user I guess, but lets not forget what fucked up the scene in the first place.

    • Kelly Myers

      Totally… Digital DJing ruined more than it benefited.

      • Ezmyrelda

        In my opinion it wasn’t digital DJs that turned everything to shit but the group of people doing a lot of the digital djing.. There were and still are a lot of elitist narcissistic shitty djs that used vinyl..

        I don’t know if you noticed but djing kind of has a tendency to attract self absorbed assholes. In my experience the shittier and more mediocre one is as a dj the more of a prick one is.

    • CUSP

      I’m going to guess that Narcissism, and Elitism screwed up the scene, because that’s what always does, but I’m open to what you think did it.

      • Kelly Myers

        Digital DJs. Fucked. It. Up.

        • CUSP

          Well, that’s your opinion. I don’t agree. I see some phenomenal work done by people using controllers. I also remember some horrible DJs using vinyl, and they don’t DJ anymore.

        • robotic roq


        • noxxi

          yeah well we’re getting the jobs, so boo hoo.

          If you lot cared about the music half as much as you cared about “being the guy that plays vinyl” then you wouldnt be so butt hurt about people using new technology. in years from now, people are just going to tell you to shut the fuck up instead of indulging your jealous hatred of the new.

          • Kelly Myers

            Noxxi – You are incredibly ignorant of the situation.

          • noxxi

            well what is the situation then? i’m butthurt about always hearing how i’m a cheater.
            I’m no cheater, i use sync sure, but i also run 2 laptops with my friend, with 2 instances of traktor and 1 of ableton, we switch back and forth on all the programs and laptops for an entire set. i use sync, as much as i can anyway, i still have to manually correct it. thats not cheating. and i think its bad to say its cheating, because then your scaring people away from it, and from beyond the sync button. once you have sync, or at least some sync, you can do a lot of other stuff. i think its crude to call my art any less than your art because i use sync. my butt fucking hurts

          • Reuben Martinez

            Noxxi – you are absolutely correct. You are not cheating anyone. But you are cheating yourself if you have no appreciation for what came before, how we got here, and those who created a marketplace, where you now find employment/pleasure. I’ve been DJing since 1973 (pre-mixer) and have grown with each new technology, but you know what, I’m better because I grew along the way. It’s easy to dismiss the elder gen, but we did the multi DJs, mixing to whatever the other guy(s) played on their side of the mixer, etc. You are doing nothing new, just using new, easier to use tools. Now you can use this to improve the art, or to ignore it and go your own way. I guarantee you can improve by learning some of the older technologies, unless you’re happy with just settling for what you have. I began with little 45s, and even some 78s. Moved to reel-to-reel (a lost art form), then cassettes, CDs, and now do mostly digital video mixing. I have Serato, Tracktor, but feel completely at ease with Virtual DJ (running VDJ8) for video. I can and do still wow the crowd by pulling out two 1200s every now and then, yes – with actual records on them! Do that and the crowd – as well as other real DJs – will have nothing but respect for you. Thinking that digital is the only way is limiting, and exposes you as only having a limited skill-set.

          • Kelly Myers

            That’s interesting Reuben. I started out in a similar way, but ended up on vinyl. I had done VJing for a few years, then starting producing and DJing starting out on CDs (doing industrial) and then went to vinyl and trance/house. I miss VJing but even with all this fancy technology out there I’m still not impressed enough to return to it in any large way. People want to complain about how records are heavy? Yeah well fuck you! 🙂 They are nothing compared to 3 umatic tape decks, an 8 input broadcast switcher, a tower workstation with dual DPS PerceptionVR cards with drives (5GB each back then) and 5 projectors. Maybe this is why I don’t whine like a bitch like CUSP and Noxxi and others about vinyl being heavy.

          • Guest

            id worry more about dragging your fat fucking ass to the venue

          • Kelly Myers

            I love watching how low you digital DJs will sink in order to try and justify your existence. It gives me great pleasure to piss you all off.

          • dfgjk

            thats your source of pleasure? i am sorry for you.

          • Kelly Myers

            Whatever noxxi.

          • Dubby Labby

            Sdj with video and flip is what you need to try to understand why sync is useful (or even necessary) and why digitalism used in the right way is most fun than vinylism alone.
            Other option could be remix decks/ stems.

            Booh options bring the best of “turntablism soul” to the actual momentum and could be performed with vinyl (dvs) but also in digital controller use which is by far cheaper for newbies.

            If people use empathy then words like “must” or “wrong” becoming more flexible like “could” and “different taste”.

            Merry X-wax 😉

          • noxxi

            thats pretty cool, i’m not saying that i have no respect for the prior art, i’m saying i have no respect for people who have no respect for me and my art. i used to use vinyl myself and saw it as nothing special. i could scratch (not amazingly mind you) but then what? it just seems to me that sticking to militantly sticking to vinyl is just a cheap way of telling yourself that you have earned your right to call your self a dj. DJing has always been about pushing the limits of new and unusual technology to create something. but somewhere along the line it fractured and is now about 2 camps of people, digital “cheaters” and frothing at the mouth vinyl die hards. To be honest (and i know i’m being inflammatory here) but these “other real DJs” can go and fuck themselves. what gives them the right to beleive that their respect is worth anything? are we not all equals based solely on what we can do with our own setup? or is it that only vinylists are?
            i’ts like this; what gives a piano player the right to comment on a guitar players method?

            You are wrong about digital being limiting, and coming from somebody who has been at it for so long seems ridiculous. let me see… what is limiting about digital? and my limited skill set? because i’m not quite as good as you at beatmatching 2 records? well sir, youve just seized the one and only aspect where i falter next to you.

            with the deepest respect, i cannot believe you just said digital is limiting. because my efforts are focused elsewhere rather than on an outdated manual part of djing that the audience doesnt hear anyway. i mean who is vinyl for? i can tell you, its for the dj playing vinyl and his mates.

            i’m not so worried about image or “respect” i do my thing, and i’m good at it, thers a lot to master in the digital world because there are more options available. people who disreagrd digital completely do so from a position of ignorance.

          • Reuben Martinez

            I didn’t say digital was limiting, but “don’t limit yourself to digital”! No one knows what the future will bring that will make what we have now, seem even more ancient, than what we think vinyl is today. Yes, there were many vinyl DJs who had no business calling themselves DJs. There are just as many digital ones. Actually I’d say there are a higher percentage of digital ones because today everyone with a hacked copy of (insert software here) calls themselves a DJ. O bad vinyl DJ would soon be out of the game and ridiculed in my day. Someone with a decent collection on their iPod/iPad thinks they are a DJ. “Thinking that digital is the only way is limiting…” Search YouTube for Cameron Paul, and others to see the amazing things they did with vinyl, and the few tools they added along the way. Can Q-Bert also do his thing digitally, or is he limited to vinyl?
            Carrying more weight/equipment…doesn’t make anyone better. A sorry DJ with twenty crates of records is no better than a great DJ with two copies of one record! We will all travel our separate ways, and experiment with ever increasing tools. What we do with those tools will grow the art form. I’m just agreeing with the article in that beginning with the more basic tools will assist you in becoming a better artist, with the more modern tools. Things will seem elementary to you, once you’ve mastered the previous generations tools. Use them all! I have three “coffins” that sit side by side in sort of a backward C configuration. On the left I have two 1200s with an older mixer. On the right, I have two SL-DZ 1200s with their own mixer. In front I have a smaller coffin with a controller, and a USB capable mixer. I also have a mixer just below that, where I can control all three set-ups, as the sound travels to my amplifier, then on to my Bose 901s. I can rock the party with all three set-ups, but you guys know what – I truly challenge myself – and am a better exponent of my profession (even though it’s more of a hobby now) when I’m utilizing all of the tools at my disposition. I truly rock the party then, as it becomes not only an auricular show, but also a visual one. If some kid (like my younger brother once did when he turned me on to digital software) shows up with a neat new tool, then I’ll try that too. Bottom line is what comes out of the distant end, and how well those attending enjoy your show. This being said, don’t just be a singer, don’t just be a musician, don’t just be an MC, but use all of the tools within your disposal to rock the dance floor and be an ENTERTAINER. Don’t sell any tool short, whether it be vinyl, or digital. Get the best from each, and complement them with each other. Also practice with different software, different mediums (reel to reel, cassettes, vinyl…) and even different turntables for that matter. I had Sansui 636 Black Beautys before I went 1200s. I had a pair of Technics 1700s before then (actually one still survives in my collection – talk about questions when I twist the little knobs to adjust pitch). When we first got mixers in clubs, we rocked Garrands and then the Technics 1800s. Playing with different tools makes me a better DJ – period. I can show up and play on whatever’s there, and am not dependent on MY specialized equipment. You too can improve by experimenting – and mastering – the various generations of equipment, and media. Good luck – it’s hard work!

          • noxxi

            finally, a refreshing opinion on it all! i mustve misread the limiting thing. i agree, that there are a lot of arseholes that shouldnt be naming themselves DJs, mostly people with “DJ” in their name 😛 haha! jokes aside. i guess for me, i hate being labeled a faker because i do it digitally, its always vinyl purists and indoctrinated lay people who call it. its not fair, nobody gets to call them fakers even though they omit so many of the things digital users can do. its frustrating. i’m a big beleiver in that its what you do with it that counts, but not everyone is cool enough to go with that. for some, the image is all that matters, to the point of stepping on others just to retain some sort of elitist exclusivity. in fact i think these people are happy that vinyl is dying out as it mkes their club even more exclusive. but thats me ranting i guess, i feel like ive become part of the hatred for the sake of defense. its sad really

          • CUSP

            Maybe *YOU* don’t understand, Kelly.

            I’d like to see you use valid arguments that aren’t biased, but rather supporting of a claim you make. Right now, you appear to be a child, throwing a tantrum when you claim someone is ignorant, but you won’t illucidate why… as if someone told you they prefer “My Little Pony” to “Barbie.” If I were a Vinyl hold-out, I’d be privately messaging you to stop representing us. It’s embarassing for you and others who choose to use the vinyl format. You’re right, we don’t understand your point of view, but you’re not helping any.

          • Kelly Myers

            ” If I were a Vinyl hold-out, I’d be privately messaging you to stop representing us. It’s embarassing for you and others who choose to use the vinyl format. You’re right, we don’t understand your point of view, but you’re not helping any.”

            Well funny enough I have had several friend requests over the past week since this conversation has been going from those who have been watching it. Others have privately messaged me to say “stick it to those digital DJ wanker fucks”.
            You don’t understand our point of view because you don’t have any soul. You got no groove kid. There it is.

          • CUSP

            How do you substantiate your claim? Oh that’s right, you don’t.

          • Kelly Myers

            It’s the limitations that drive creativity. Less is more. Have you not heard that expression before?

          • CUSP

            The human brain adapts to circumstances and then develops tools to overcome. Maybe you missed that part. Captivity does not foster the spirit.

          • Tip Lancaster

            can you play the decks , or did you only use new tech stuff ???

          • noxxi

            both, i started on vinyl and still practice manual beatmatching, but vinyl is fun, scratching is fun, but digital is flexible and powerful. it didnt tak me long to migrate to sync for live performances. you can get ableton involved as well, its just better in my opinion.
            I have nothing against vinyl, or vinyl djs, its the elitism and poisonous hatred that pisses me off. why should i have to defend my craft? cant somebody be exceptionally skilled at using digital? according to some they cant, which is ridiculous.

        • Kev Mas

          Not really. Thats how the world works. Advancements are a norm. Just because a DJ has the latest technology that doesn’t means he’s the baddest DJ. What a lot of ppl fail to realize that though you have the technology you still have to do things manually.

        • Henry Geskes

          Children, how about we remember respect for one another is key here. Both formats have merit. Digital isn’t cheating unless you go from one track to the next, utilizing nothing from the system, leaving your time freed up to check email, or throw birthday cakes. With the right gear, digital by all rights SHOULD sound better. Analog warmth is nothing but audible noise. What vinyl has going for it, isn’t something you can achieve even with control signals; tactile feel, audible tempo correction (not a bad thing necessarily), and as papa Sven says… TENSION. There is a rewarding feeling when something goes your way, but when the effort was put in, the drink at the bar just tastes better.

  • vj prasan

    Agree that it is very useful, if not an absolute must, to know how to mix with Vinyl. Having said that, most people do not have access to vinyl or good teachers to learn the basics.

    I personally started by teaching myself using dj software. After learning the basics of mixing by bars and not just beat, I then went on to trying to learn how to actually get the beats matched. Had it not been for software I would never have got into djing. So my only problem here is the title of this article.

    Yes, you should learn to beatmatch with Vinyl. But expecting a dj nowadays to start with this is a bit absurd. It is cheap to use software and therefore most accessible. So it is easier to get started like this, get to a point where you can mix pleasantly enough to get a paid gig, and then use that money to develop your skills. Part of that development should undoubtedly be to learn to mix by ear. However, the most important thing is what the audience hears. Not the way of doing it. You are more likely to be a good dj if you can mix by bars and by key matching, than if you can beatmatch.

    To me the ability to beatmatch is now a secondary skill for a dj, not a primary one. I have heard plenty of DJ’s who can beatmatch great, but ignore the key and ignore the fact that most songs have an 8 bar intro and outro. They sound a lot worse than the software DJ’s who don’t focus on the beatmatching but do focus on ensuring the drop is in the right place.

  • Ricardo

    technology is a wonderful thing, but the high one gets from mixing with vinyl is incomparable. Try it, and you will see.

    • CUSP

      I can’t say what it’s like for you, but it feels like playing a whole song on an instrument (without messing up)… which is remarkably similar to hitting the right buttons on a DJ controller and getting your real-time remix just right.

    • noxxi

      i get it from digital mixing, thats why i do it. id get it from vinyl too, but carting that shit to a gig… well the only high youl get from that is probably just because your out of breath

      • CUSP

        One of the main reasons I stopped carrying vinyl to shows was because I got tired of it getting stolen or put back in the wrong sleeve (making me think it was stolen). That’s not a feeling I enjoyed.

        • noxxi

          i get like that about my cables still! left my push bag on the wrong side of the decks one night, somehow got it back at the end. i was like “oh shit” because it had my f1 in it!

          • Siana Gearz

            I don’t think that’s even comparable. Cables, you should have a surplus, and you can always get new ones, matter of just walking into the vaguely correct store. But where are you gonna get THAT ONE RARE RECORD anew?

          • noxxi

            losing anything sucks, and whether its cables or expensive controllers, I’d still rather be over protective than lose them. and to answer your question, probably juno records 😛

          • Siana Gearz

            Thanks, that’s a GREAT place, but it won’t cut it for special records. I mean, on a whim, i checked whether they’d have 1991 Space Trax Vol. 2. Nope. They did have a record which had the particular track i cared about from 2005, so that’s half bad.

            On the other hand, i was delighted that i can now buy the WAV or MP3 of the track at junodownload, and not too expensively. Wheeeeeee! I know what i’m buying tonight. Wasn’t expecting it to say the least.

            Still, cables really aren’t worth losing the tiniest bit of sleep over, and even the F1 is cheaper than an average mobile phone that you can lose any moment, and doesn’t have any of your private data on it. If flipped out any time i lost something, i’d be doing somersaults all day every day.

      • Kelly Myers

        Lazy fuck.

        • noxxi

          fuck that though

  • calgarc

    i learned how to mix, scratch and loop on a pair of stanton turntables years ago with a crummy 2 channel mixer :D… those were the days.

    • Thomasdj

      One reloop killer mixer and one turntable. We used to gather with friends and then play when the other party had the other turntable 🙂

      • calgarc

        then we all got computers, and shit got a whole lot easier lol

  • rwoody81

    I am proud to say I started on vinyl. The experience and training (of my ears) that I gained during that time has transformed the way I hear music today. I don’t think I would be where I was today if I didn’t start out with “two turntables and a microphone”.

  • ImNotDedYet

    Hah, I figured this article would bring out some emotions. I agree with the general premise of the article, but not necessarily some of the reason.

    I started DJing with a controller about two years ago although I’ve loved house for twenty years. I mucked w/ tables back in the day and mobile DJ’d back in the day as well. About a year into it I moved over to tables and vinyl, and it’s been a really incredible experience. Maybe it’s because I’m older and have a different viewpoint, but I think there is much to be gained by starting on tables and using vinyl – not DVS but actual vinyl.

    There are no waveforms – you can get somewhat of an idea of what’s going on musically by looking at the record, but you have nothing or little visually. You also don’t have the benefit of some of the “crutches” of digital (and I’m not talking about sync) such as viewing waveforms, when kick ends, ability to loop if you’re not beat matched yet, etc. So, you’re forced to know your songs really well – a step altogether missed I think for a lot of people in the digital realm. Since you don’t have ability to loop with straight vinyl, you find yourself in some sticky situations on occasion and have to come up with different ways to get out of them – something many people would miss out on in the digital realm with loop markers, etc. Finally, you’re not distracted visually, so as mentioned you do have to listen to the music. And this actually helps you to make small, subtle decisions in the mix that may be overlooked by digital DJs.

    People discussing the cost of vinyl and turntables, but you can get used 1200 mkii’s for $350/each here in the states, a two channel Pio or A & H for about $250, and if you keep an eye out for people selling vinyl online, you can often get a great deal. I’ve bought bunches of old records from vinyl DJs back in the day – some of it was stuff I didn’t want, but I got about 450 records for $350. High end controllers cost just south of $1000 these days – not to mention Pioneer CDJs and DJM mixers? You can also buy records online – no matter where you live. You don’t need a record store nearby, although it is a blast to go in and waste a couple hours just digging. And finally, the cost of a vinyl record itself isn’t necessarily the negative it’s made out to be. Limiting the amount of music you have causes you to again…really know your music, as opposed to dropping a buck fifty per digital song online and dumping $40/50 a month getting new songs.

    Is there a best way to DJ? No – a DJ is there to make the crowd happy – do it in the digital or non-digital realm. But would you be a better DJ – even if you DJ’d digitally, if you started out with vinyl? Given my experience, I’d say yes.

  • DJ Dlux

    Truth, and a necessity if you’re going to dj funk and reggae too.

  • BIJ

    good article and excellent pointst. I disagree with those saying that this it is too expensive. used turntables (especially if you go belt drive) can be had for a song on ebay. same goes for a used 2-3 channel mixer. you could have a whole setup for a few hundred dollars easy.

    Most importantly, IMO, you are missing out on one of the true joys of DJing if you havent experienced the pleasure of a nice long mix of two spinning records playing tracks that you love. I think beatmatching is marginalized is some discussions in order to justify using sync..”anyone can beat match”, “it gives me time to other things like effects/samples”, “no one in the crowd cares if you beat match or sync”….etc. Unfortunately this misses the point that manually mixing two records together is a simple pleasure that is foundational to what made DJing fun in the past. Whether it takes you a day or a month to learn how to beatmatch, the satisfaction of the first time you get it right is not to be missed.

    There is tons of old vinyl out there, buy 10 records and play them so much that you know the tracks inside and out. Scarcity is your friend here and you will connect with the structure of the music and nuances of buildups and transitions in a way that you never would have if you are just picking from 1000s of songs on your hard disk.

    You may never play vinyl out, but you should seek out the unique sensory experience of manually mixing records. It’s FUN and will give you insight and perspective into your own musical self-expression.

  • Jkush

    ayy, one of these pictures is from camp spin off! i went there, awesome dj camp, also i think everybody should learn on vinyl, im 17 and i learned on vinyl and i actually just got a pair of techs. vinyl is kinda like a stick shift and a midi controller is like an automatic, when you learn stick, its harder but you focus more, thus making you a better driver

  • Nick v

    I could never recommend that a new DJ start on vinyl. Lets be honest vinyl is an absolute luxury in 2015. Unless you live in a big music town, there just aren’t that many dance record stores left and even in NYC there’s a fraction of shops that there were in the 90’s. That’s not even taking into account the whole demise of Techniques and the availability of turntables. You’re going to be out nearly $2k to get 2 tt’s a 2 channel mixer and enough vinyl to play an hr set. Compare that with the investment a all in one controller costs to play with the laptop you probably already have and the mp3s you probably all ready have on it. It’s no wonder new DJs go straight to Traktor et al.

    Now as someone who started on vinyl and mostly played that way for most of my career as a DJ, I think if you haven’t played on vinyl and you are passed the point where DJing is just a passing phase – go for it. There is something almost magical about playing without a laptop especially in an all analogue signal path. BPM drifting aside, vinyl is mastered differently and just has a different sound – more mid forward, warmer, more dynamic. It’s a joy to listen to even if it’s a hassle to work with.

    • Kelly Myers

      One controller and then a laptop and then a new controller 6 months later when the new one comes out and then another laptop 6 months after that and about 200 bucks a month in beatport mp3s, then some other controller, a macbook pro because everyone else has one and then some fancy gig bag for 200 bucks because you have to have one to carry all your shit in it, plus the hassle of plugging in and out before and after you play because everyone has their own set up and no one seems to want to show up for sound checks and get that all working before hand and there is no standards any more….

      Fuck that noise.

      • PeterPepper

        That’s nonsense. FWIW, I’ve played numerous sets using both methods.

        Every point you just made could be applied to vinyl-only djs. Need a new needle? There’s a hundred. Unless you want a really fancy one; that could be up to $250.

        $200 gig bag for the laptop dj? Or alternatively, $30 for a good case and a backpack. On the flip side, you have the same price range for vinyl transport cases. Oh, and the laptop holds a near infinite amount of music. That same cannot be said for a single box of records.

        Also, there are plenty of amateur dj’s using cheap pc’s + reaper to get a great sound for under $1000. Your strawman compulsive shopper digital dj is just as common as the vinyl dj who continually updates his decks, buys fancy slipmats, and drops hundreds at a time on records.

        $200 a month on beatport mp3s? Who do you know who does this? You do realize that the web is crawling with free and/or affordable music, right? The only way you would spend that on beatport is if you’re only playing top 40 or some shit, and if that’s the case, your choice of medium is probably the least offensive.

        Plugging in and out is a problem? For fuck’s sake, have you ever played a live instrument at a show? I don’t know where you work/perform, but I’ve never noticed a difference in professionalism between djs who use vinyl and those who don’t. If the dj can’t show up to sound check that’s because she’s a jerk, not because she’s chosen a different method for performing.

        • Kelly Myers

          Ok a couple of problems here peter….
          Let’s go over this.
          First off all, new needles rarely cost 100 bucks (unless you are buying ortofon reds or something which no DJ would use anyway). Shure white label tips or M-44 styli are about 25 and 35 respectively. If you are not a moron those will last you 6 months easily. If you need new carts that’s a different story… but what did you do that you need new carts? anyway..

          Next the point i was trying to make is that the costs go both ways. DJing isn’t a cheap hobby let alone a profession. But consider this. No one fucking complained 10-15 years ago and everyone was making money making records. Now, even as big as beatport is, most artists, even some really well known ones make zip squat off their releases. Less than what they would have made on a vinyl release 5-10 or 15 years ago. And that’s selling 5000 digital copies vs 300 vinyl records.

          Also when have you ever known someone to upgrade their decks? What are they going to do? Upgrade from technics SL1200 MKIIs to M3D?
          That doesn’t make any sense. I have 3 pairs of tech 12s. Why? Luck, circumstances and necessity. Fancy slip mats? Bro, do you even mix? (j/k, but honestly… people spent more on coffee in a day than they can on slip mats).

          I personally buy my records in bulk, so sure I would spend 200, 400, even 1500 at times on records. But I do it once a month, once a week, once every 3 months. I budget for it and I buy records before gigs, justifying the costs. I also buy records because I love the act of playing records. I love the technology and art form behind it that makes it work. I appreciate the effort that went into creating them from the track production to the master cuts, the metal, the pressing, everything. It feels good to know that record helped pay for a machinist and steam operator and a lady to insert the records into the sleeves, so they could have food on the table. I feel a connection with the producer who wrote the track and that special feeling you get when your own release comes back from the plant for the first time as a test pressing or the final product samples come back from a finished order. I know that feeling myself and I want that connection.

          The people who I know who blow 200 bucks on beatport regularly always tell me how they got a bunch of wicked tracks the night before and 2 days later complain that they mostly suck. These are not top 40 club DJs, these are underground house and trance DJs mostly. Beatport is a trick. Think about it. Everyone used to talk about vinyl being the black crack. Ok, sure.. then what is digital? They are selling you air and you are buying.

          Beatport and other shops make it really easy to waste money on music you will never play. Vinyl forces you to think twice. So in reality I think you come out on top with vinyl. I don’t care how many waves, AIFF, FLAC or mp3s you can store on a laptop or if its unlimited. Less is more. Focus please.

          As for the live instrument show stuff… Well here you are really out of step if you think that comparison makes it acceptable on any level. It’s NEVER been acceptable to interrupt the music once it starts until kicking people out when it comes to dance music. At least not going from DJ to DJ where there is a several minute gap of dead air. It’s not acceptable. The live instrument comparison for a band doesn’t work here. It’s simply not acceptable. It should NEVER be allowed. Sadly I was at 1015 in SF a little over a year ago and sure enough right in the middle of a show, new DJ comes on and there is 8 minutes of fucking around with flashlights, controller cable rats nests fights. The friend i went with who came down from Canada to see the show was horrified. I was as well. When the fuck this kind of behavior become acceptable ANYWHERE at any level?
          Once that twit was done playing then they did it again! What a buzzkill. Had we don’t that at our events or gigs not so long ago (and even today in most places where people know better) we would have been boo’ed off stage or dragged off by the promoter or other DJs and beaten in the back room.
          It’s simply NOT ACCEPTABLE.
          But sadly with the rise of digital… well… its all gone pete tong.

          • Mal Achai

            Exactly – plus, if you feel that you don’t want to dj anymore, you can get back a lot of that money, look after your decks and you can easily sell them, good luck selling that 3 year old macbook for anything like the price you paid for it.
            You can then your records if you really want to, but nobody is going to buy your usb stick full of steve aokis favourite buttplug melodies based edm shit.

        • Mal Achai

          regularly upgrade your turntable? ha ha ha ha, dickhead. Technics released the 1200 mk2 in about 1979, there have been no essential upgrades since then, nobody regularly upgrades their turntables

    • Arcendus

      “Let[‘]s be honest[,] vinyl is an absolute luxury in 2015.”


  • Dean Zulueta

    It is so true that new DJs need to learn how to physically beat match and not depend on sync. Myself, I started on DJ software and a MIDI controller. The first thing I found was pressing sync was so easy! However, I felt as if I was “faking” it. This made me go out and beat match using the vinyl that I had and household turntables. I couldn’t scratch but I could learn the essence of BPM, pitch, and everything that comes with by-ear beat matching. Now, I am diverse in how I play. I prefer my MIDI Fighter Spectra and S4 but I don’t always take those to a gig. There is a night club I play at that only has technics so I will bring vinyl to play along with Traktor Scratch. Usually one deck is time code and the other is just direct thru.

    You truly become a diverse DJ and can handle multiple situations. Today there are too many kids that I come across who “DJ” but really are syncing tracks. The sad thing is they sync tracks and think that is part of DJing; blind to the foundations of the craft.

  • Dubblife

    Im just glad there’s a photo of DJ Screw in the article. How awesome is that!? RIP.

    • Luxe

      Haha I was about to share that article only for the DJ Screw pic (y)

  • House Inc.

    I have see 3 to 4 setups at a party because these guys can’t play on this or can’t play on that.
    Geeezzz , pioneer has made it easier for us..load up a flashdrive.
    but nooooo, these so called djs can’t play on vinyl or cdjs…it takes practice like anything to learn this stuff…Traktor/Serato/VDJ/Mix vibes take all the guessing out of everything (cue points, sync, bpm, bar count) I think I saw a posting about mix in key can read the energy of a song and will find others like it…cmon..if that’s not lazy. .then what is.

  • l0rdr0ck

    Used vinyl, used software, it’s supposed to be fun guys. If you aren’t having fun and are worried about how things look or what other people say about how you enjoy yourself, then you have no reason to be involved in music.

    • baju-baju

      You are right. The problem is the EGO!
      “Look at MY mad skills, admire me”.

      • l0rdr0ck

        For whatever silly reason, I am still thinking about this topic.
        After much thought, and reinforcing the basic premise to have fun,
        having been using DVS since Ms. Pinky and pushing hard towards what we all take for granted now with the plethora of Digital DJ solutions, what resonates with me most is “intimacy”.

        I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars and 23 years buying “underground” dance music.

        The records I have I cherish more than any digital file.
        There are some records I have that maybe had a run of 10 copies.
        Any digital file is infinitely less valuable.

        This says nothing about the techniques you use to deliver a performance.

        My physical collection, I blend with new files I get. I cannot
        say people should buy vinyl, some tracks just aren’t published that

        • baju-baju

          You, again, are absolutely right.
          There’s no comparison between the intimate value of vinyl comparing to an mo3 file.
          It’s tagible it has a weight and we get attached to objects with a soul, you can’t smell an MP3.
          My 80s vinyl is stashed away 18000 km from where I live and that’s why I play banjo and draw, to get away from the virtual, non existent world of daily mouse pushing and button pushing on weekends.
          I draw by hand, I can (maybe, after all those years) use a turntable but I embrace the technology.
          The “in my day we DJed by rubbing two sticks together, therefore so must you” attitude makes me angry. Apart from ego tripping there’s no rational reason for these statements. It’s about the music.
          Everybody can buy a camera or a controller, a few will be able to use them to the enjoyment of others.

        • CUSP

          I’ve copied old vinyl tracks using an A-D converter (sound card using RCA ins). It’s not hard, it is time consuming, but it is possible. I’ve had to do this with some Martin Denny, Frank Sinatra… even some old slate records.

          • l0rdr0ck

            I also A-to-D’d 790 records, about 40 Gigs of 16/48 Wavs,
            yup, took months!, I paid my room-mates rent so
            he would keep the vinyl recording while i went to work.
            time consuming, totally worth it.

          • CUSP

            Yeah, I like a lot of old stuff. Those people that say “You can’t get those old tunes in digital” just don’t understand this process… and it’s a seemingly arrogant/ignorant mindset that makes me mentally face palm, as it’s REALLY easy to do.

  • markospolydorou

    Hey guys!

    Really love the feedback and thanks for taking the time to read. This definitely is my own opinion and like I mentioned in the article, it is not meant to bash current technology or trends that are popular in todays DJ culture.

    This article mainly arose out of my personal experience as a DJ during the beginning of the technological shift. I was starting out when the mk3’s were the hottest item on the block, and Native Instruments was starting to experiment with Stanton Final Scratch. I still remember the first day I got my DVS shipped to my college dorm room!

    Anyways keep the comments flowing. Really looking forward to hearing about other peoples experiences.


  • CUSP

    Uh, I was DJing on a computer in clubs 10 years ago… everyone claimed I was the problem with DJing, I just let the computer do everything for me, and I was the reason that artists weren’t getting paid. I still used the computer anyway, not because I was the problem, but because the computer was a better solution for me than previous options.

    I get where the article is coming from, but as others have stated, these are “approach / perception issues” not gear issues.

    I think what was intended was it’s good to experience things differently, without having the option to “run to a safe place when things get difficult.” Perceptions are good to change as long as the reference remains and the end result is a better experience.

    Two things remain myths today: Old School is best (the hard way is the best way), and Respect your Elders (just for being older). Do whatever it takes to impart awe in others and Respect is earned, it’s not a perk of being somewhere first.

    I am glad Marcos tried to impart these tips, but vinyl isn’t the only way, and that Vinyl Superiority needs to die.

    • markospolydorou

      Hey CUSP,

      I can see how the article may be taken as old mentality vs new mentality but the idea behind the words are not to say one way is better than the other. Its more so just explaining why I feel it is beneficial for younger generations to start off on traditional methods of DJ’ing before jumping to a laptop or controller set up.

      I’m not saying they have to learn on vinyl. I am merely just trying to encourage those interested in DJing to learn to use their ears first, then move to more advance technology to expand their knowledge. The basics will always be the basics in any profession regardless of the tools available to us.

      • CUSP

        I’m not negating what you said, I just think that your message may be misinterpreted by people coming up now to mean something you didn’t intend. I (and a lot of other DJs) reading this get that you suggest vinyl as a means to understand the craft of DJing, which is all well and good, but to an impressionable person, telling them to get vinyl might mean “controllers were a bad idea, they suck, don’t get them, only go old school for street cred.” because when we’re young we tend to think of things as 100% one way or the other.

        I totally agree with you that basics should be learned, and steps should not be skipped, and to that I say “How can you walk and chew gum at the same time unless you learn how to do them independently, first?” For those of us who drive, there was probably someone criticizing our driving while we were learning, and we ultimately learned how to drive better because we had interest in it. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. I wish we could tell people “You need to work on this” and have them listen and actually work on it, but all we can do is present the tools, show them why they’re important, and hope they choose to use the tools.

        Anecdotally, I’m seeing people who thought DJing would be fun and found out it was hard work, starting to leave (and sell their DJ gear) now. Maybe they didn’t get the guidance they needed, but maybe they don’t have the gumption to stick out their trouble areas, and work on being a better DJ.

        • Selecta

          I think the article will only be misinterpreted by people who skim read it and miss the point of what’s being said. The article is dressed up in a “use vinyl and here’s why” package, but I actually think Markos is using that more as a metaphor to convey the real message: know yourself, know your music.
          Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s what I read in the article 🙂

          • CUSP

            Didn’t I say that in my original response?

          • Selecta

            I wasn’t responding to that, I was responding to the above point you made about misinterpretation. If they read the article they won’t misinterpret it. If they already assume, as some have, that it’s an “old vs new” debate then they won’t have a clue what’s actually being said.

          • CUSP

            Whether or not the author intended for this piece to be a “Vinyl is the only right solution” piece, it became one. With section titles such as these, the reader infers that they’re doing everything wrong. I’m sorry, but none of those section titles are exclusive to vinyl and there is a strong argument that digital is better for the majority of them.

            Scratching is not the Holy Grail of DJing, it’s an effect, like using LFO in Dubstep. Honestly speaking, I have at least 3 online radio stations I listen to for the express purpose of hearing new music. If you want to learn how to scratch with controllers, there’s a course you can take at Digital DJ Tips and Q-Bert’s Scratch Academy.

            Unhooking your computer and focusing on your ears should be true for Turntables as well. You should be listening to songs and immediately thinking “Oh, I gotta’ try this other song with the one playing” and actually trying it. The best way I know how to do this is to play a track at home, introduce the new song, and experimening with new spots, different ways and figuring out if it works for you. Take notes when you come up with new ideas when you have them, and try them out at home when you can stop all tracks and go over and over how you want to do something. This is not exclusive to Vinyl, and it’s arguable that cue markers make things easier to learn (not being caught up in the mechanics of finding the point at which you start).

            Showing dedication to your art is not as simple as buying something, it comes from years of blood, sweat, and tears. Sure, being capable of playing in any medium is generally a good thing, but it’s not as the article states: A way to get in good with the “old guys/gals.” A good attitude and a little modesty goes a long way, whereas attempting to show up some “old guy/gal” in their medium is about the biggest dick-move a DJ can make. Remember: being a DJ is supposed to be about people, fun, and having a good time, not showing off who has the most “L33T skills.”

            No amount of listening to the same music will focus your musical taste, listening to a lot of music and picking out the best and brightest stars, is how you do that. Spending more money on a track does not equate to dedication nor appreciation.

            This article addresses good points, but saying that Vinyl is the only way to do these things is just plain false, which is why this article seems very Vinyl Centric.

          • Patrik Hällfors

            Thanks for putting my thoughts into such neat sentences CUSP. I couldn’t agree more.

          • Pro DJ

            TLDR but scratching does separate the grown ups from the children.

          • CUSP

            I know how to scratch, but (in my opinion) it sounds bad when used in Electronic Music. Instead, short loops (glitching) fill that freeform role.

            Even when I started in vinyl, I hated the sound of scratching anything more than a baby scratch, and although “Ministry- Everyday is Halloween” has scratching, it’s widely understood as it being a comical wink at rebelling against “the mainstream.”

            I’m sure other people, in other genres like it, but I’ve never seen an electronic dance scene “light up” when someone scratches a tune… it gets the same response as someone doing a burn out with their car. Some like it, most others fled as quickly as they can from it. So if this truly separates the children from the adults, who then determines who is the adult and who is the child?

          • Hans

            The Space DJs

          • Dubby Labby

            Well… The point is a bit under. The point about this noise cames from the point which djtt and controllerism (defined by moldover expoiled by Ean) in its mistaked definition claimed be “like turntablism without turntables” (like babu defined turntablism as guitarism with turntable)… Labels create a golden mindjail for followers. Now with the children growing (and pioneer entering to the turntable arena/ableton advertising push2 as mpc killer and maybe someday vinyl support who knows…) seems intellingent (from market POV and comoletely legit) to include turntable as contr… Wait! Houston we have a problem.

            Now we are talking about being oneself? Express oneself honestly? Using tools as tools without dogma or limitation?

            Neither so. Djtt is trying to shift once again the focus to catch all the possible costumers (legit, not a rant) but articles like this and “confontation” evidence how messed is the “root” in this context.

            Then we have people. People usually take one decission for its life…
            a) keep the tradition as part of their inner personality (true roots)
            b) push the limits as part of their inner personality (until oneself found confortable living)
            c) follow the next fashion until drop it (but meanwhile defending it as a)
            d) justify themselves as mediocre people trying to simulate their are in the b) group
            e) left this kind of discussion (maybe returning on holidays haha) to focus in new discussion (usually related to “get a true job redneck!” and other family/social blood sports)

            Well mates time to update my C.V. and make some pushups to get ready for dinner.

            Ps: walk on!

      • Terry Bollea

        “I’m not saying they have to learn on vinyl.”

        Really? The title of the article says exactly that.

        • markospolydorou

          Actually, the exact title is “Why new DJs SHOULD start on Vinyl” not “have to”.

          When someone puts the word should in a sentence like that it’s usually to ask a question or state something that they have a strong belief in. Sort of like when a mom says “you should move out” yet the individual still lives at home. (Note: not saying you still live at home but thought it would be funny to add some humour since you sound pretty upset)

          • CUSP

            “Should” implies “best course of suggested action.” The presumption is that the person making the statement has some special knowledge in the area they speak of, and their advice is the least crummy way to do it. I honestly don’t think I’d ever return to vinyl, for several reasons.

          • Arcendus

            Rather than spend all your time in the comments section, CUSP, why don’t you write an article of your own explaining why vinyl isn’t, in your opinion, superior?

          • CUSP

            If I have to. I just wanted to illustrate that you’re not doing it wrong if you’re not using vinyl.

          • noxxi

            because its obvious why vinyl isnt superior! unless you count the smug douche factor

          • noxxi

            id return to vinyl, if ever i felt like i needed constant validation and pats on the bum from my mates, then i’d return to vynil. but thankfully id rather have a small powerful setup that i can chuck in a bag, and thank the lord that i am more concerened with the sound than how i look or how i got there

    • steve brown

      Different environments need different equipment. A roots reggae night needs records, the attendees expect to walk by the booth at some point during the night and see 45s on tts. A wedding can be done from a laptop only. If its a house night, you better believe my enjoyment increases when a song i remember comes on and i walk over there and see its a record, instead of a file.
      Vinyl, to me says that the dj has more invested in the show, and therefore urges me to invest more, also ????

      • CUSP

        This is exactly why people are buying cheap turn tables with a generic vinyl record on it, and not plugging them into the mixing board. If you’re claiming “Roots” then you know Bob Marley did whatever he could with whatever he had. Reggae is all about one love. People who believe that somehow having a tune on vinyl makes them “more dedicated” or somehow “more traditional” need to listen to Bob Marley’s words. It’s not the tools, it’s the (wo)man who makes the masterpiece.

        • steve brown

          holy cow, my friend, no comments have ever made a stronger case for the need for djs to be buying and listening to records. since you clearly have no idea what roots means(in “roots reggae”) which is a shame since youre a dj.
          you just wrote the ultimate “the fact that you oppose this makes me think I’m onto something” responses

          • CUSP

            Try practicing “one love” more. I got into Legend, right after Bob Marley died, but I’m allergic to pot, so I could not fully get into that scene. I do take Bob’s words to heart when he says “Love will conquer hate”, and “Making Heaven on Earth.”

            If someone wants to see records spinning, and that makes ’em happy, then that’s what they’ll get, but I’ll still use a controller because I’ve found that it suits me better. You can like whatever you like, but don’t push your way on others… that’s not Rastafarian, and it’s definitely not “Love and be loved.”

            I learned on Vinyl, and moved to CDs as fast as I could, and then onto Controllers because I believe the more a thing can do to help me, the more time I have to be creative. I don’t have to keep proving I can manually beatmatch, or tone play with songs, I feel it… I know when something is off and I just reach over and correct it.

          • Mutis Mayfield

            if King tubby will be alive today will mess with arduinos, raspis and sureley ipads. Keeping using the tools of the past “by tradition” but “without knowledge and understanding” makes culture a dogma. I’m not saying “using only”, I’m saying “in addition to” due I use all (analog and digital) but every piece in its context and function not as a mantram to “keep myself real” or “rooted”.
            At last I live in 2015 and the only thing which is eternal is love for music.

            Knowing oneself, expreading the one love. 😉

          • Wow

            You’re such a dick, you are aware of that, right?

          • CUSP

            Is that why you created an anonymous account? To take pot-shots at people? You know calling people names doesn’t help your case, right?

          • Wow

            Bob Marley is not roots you tool.

          • Dubby Labby

            Dogma never could be love for the topic. In love there is no for dogma like medium. Most of the culture associated to “roots” came from oldies and historic researching/collecting. Limiting it to “do it analog” (another cliché from reggae soundsystem tradition) without the proper knowledge makes new generation another automata where freedom from mental slavery was the point…
            Clarification needed: “proper knowledge” means why use it as justification of it use but never as dogma why everyone should use it in the same way. Obviously knowing the reason keeps ppl using it and ppl going to the roots events but at last (as other parts of the artform closed towards themselves) become ghettos.
            That’s the worst part of the situation. We want to spread love with entry level barriers but then it is not truly love… Sadly.

  • Robert

    First of all this is the opinion of Marcos and I respect that. That doesn’t mean I agree with all he has written down. As an old dj (please don’t confuse it with old style) and not a snob 🙂 I learned dj more then 35 years ago on vinyl. Not because I wanted just because there was nothing else. Besides that we used an audio tape recorder to make remixes and mix tapes. But enough about the past, we live now and can use technology of today. When I travel to NY i don’t take a ship but a plane and when I make a picture I use my Iphone. Ofc traveling on a ship is more a traveling experience and taking a photo with a Hasseblad is real thing for a lot of people but it is all about choices. And i know a lot of people making better pictures on their phone then people with the most expensive cameras of the world. The thing it is about the person using it. Like written before in other comments I believe that people can listen to music on digital as on vinyl. And what DDeean wrote is true that the digital dj platform made it for lot of people possible to enjoy music and enjoy to DJ. The digital thing gave a big boost for everything about DJ. Everyone can now taste about the magic of mixing music and specially for the kids it is great thing to have the possibilities to be creative.
    Last thing but that is ofc my opinion I don’t think you can’t earn respect by the gear or things you use but more what you are as a person.

  • Saylr

    I grew up DJing on vinyl & spent a good portion of my life digging for records across the U.S. – so the nostalgia of vinyl is always there for me.

    But I also worked in recording studios in the early 90’s when ProTools was just coming in, and it was a similar viewpoint. I remember countless engineers and rock guys upset by sampling (technology that has made most music DJ’s play possible).

    Although there are tons of tools in ProTools and DJ software – it doesn’t mean you have to use them. You don’t have to use autotune, and you don’t have to use Sync. You can learn to Beatmatch by ear with controllers – you don’t need vinyl. And it’s a skill you should have.

    I’ve actually noticed that I know my tracks much better now vs my vinyl days, because I spend more time listening to each track setting up cue points, markers, and loops.

    I think the younger generation of Dj’s only need this experience if they are currently mixing with vinyl timecode. When younger DJ’s talk about the experience of DJing with vinyl vs. controllers – and they are using timecode vinyl – then I think they really need to understand how it was back in day. Mixing with vinyl timecode where you don’t need to take the record off the platter and find a new one – and you have cue points etc… Is simply not the experience of actual vinyl DJing. The feel is there, but you’re timecode vinyl is still playing the same MP3 or WAV file I am on my controller.

    Learn to beatmatch by ear!!! But you don’t need vinyl to learn.

  • Jan Hansen

    This is just very bad and expensive advice for new djs. You can do all this except “respecting old DJ snobs” as a digital dj. Hit the sync button and use time to focus on the crowd, the music and selecting the right tracks.

    • Joe Walker

      go get’em mixmaster pc & lemme know when your laptop is goin on tour

      • Jan Hansen

        The point is: you are not DJing for other DJs but for an audience who wants to be entertained and who dont care how you beatmatch or what equipment you are using. The art of DJing and beeing a real DJ is not about manually doing something that can be easily done by hitting a button, but making people dance and having a good time.

        • Keith Cetra McClellan

          So in essence you want the computer to mix for you so you can focus more time on dancing around on the stage like a clown being an entertainer instead of an actual DJ.

          • Jan Hansen

            In essence: No.

          • Parm

            I see what Jan is saying. I’m a vinyl DJ, and an additional perk for me is letting people know I’m just playing records, not taking requests.
            However, I think Jan’s point is that you can be a lot more accomodating when you’re a digital DJ. In Canada there are people in the bars born in 1996. How crazy is that? Vast majority of them don’t care that I’ve lugged two crates of records. They want to get “turnt” and it’s the DJ’s fault if they don’t.

          • baju-baju

            So, you want the crowd to stand around and admire your Patephone and your mad, mad skills?
            What’s completely missing here is the fact that back in the day, the DJ was locked away in a booth on a mezzanine and nobody cared how he delivered his/hers product.
            Now DJs want to be in the spotlight, it’s an ego thing.

          • Ezmyrelda

            Actually, funny thing is that dogma is pretty shit wherever you stick it and doesn’t really belong anywhere validly.

            Back in my day the huge majority of dj tables were right in the middle of things and you could go up to them and trainspot or admire their skills.

            Since finding a desire to want to be a DJ I have generally cared about the quality of music and the mixing that happens in the club.

          • flopdog

            That’s a really good point. I played in a NYC club for nine years, five nights a week, and my booth was just off the dance floor and I kept it DARK. Three pinbeams for the turntables, three more for records and everything else is by feel.

            Never considered that. Nice.

          • CUSP

            Nope, the essence of the article is about learning how music blends by focusing on on some key elements usually skipped over by people who have access to automated features. Now if you’re no better than a human iPod, your job is definitely threatened. No computer is going to DJ better than a human paying attention to their crowd… at least yet.

          • CUSP

            Hilarious! Luddites seem to think they have some lock on doing things right. We call these people Fundamentalists, and they’re never happy when people try anything progressive.

        • Kelly Myers

          Playing to the crowd is a lie. This is the biggest lie there is in dance music today. People who have been around long enough know this. the majors will lie to you about this because they don’t want you to know the dirty secret. We play for ourselves first, the crowd is along for the ride.

          Underground DJs are not juke boxes or emotional mirrors of the crowd. We are leaders. We lead crowds into places they have never been before and that is almost the entire point of playing on Vinyl. We will take you places you have never been with your iPod or Pandora. People go to clubs to hear a DJ play and be taken on a journey, not so they can listen to what they listen to at home or the radio or their playlist. DJs who know this go far. DJs who don’t usually fade out really quick or pop up and then crash because they are one trick ponies.

          • Jan Hansen

            This doesnt make any sense at all.

          • Kelly Myers

            It makes sense. You just don’t like what it means. Come on… People get away with playing pre-recorded sets and they are considered gods by the “crowds” who think they are being “played to”… Well they are being played, that’s for sure. Top 40 night club Djs play to the crowd so they can sell booze at the shooter bar and deliberately throw on tracks that will turn some people off for that reason exclusively. then they will pull them back to the dance floor to get thirsty again from dancing and then drive them back to the bar with a track they will want to take a break from the floor and get another drink because of. That’s how it works.
            In the underground this is detached and not done because the primary source of revenue at most clubs is the entry fee and then the bar, not the other way around. If there is a bar at all. The purpose of DJs in those events is to pull as many people to them as possible and then take them for a journey – not a merry go round cycle to the bar and back.

            If you don’t get this, ok no problem. But that is the reality of how it works in the commercial clubs vs the underground. So what this means is that when some major says you need to play to the crowd – he’s essentially lying to trip up other DJs on the way up. That or he doesn’t know himself because he’s a commercial DJ in the first place and has no business being in the underground or never was – as the concept of underground in different areas of the world is commercial to some. This is why I hate it when I hear people use the term EDM, thinking it can apply to the underground. It doesn’t it. It is a catch phrase for commercial club music.

          • Jan Hansen

            It doesnt make sense because vinyl, genres an underground vs EDM has nothing to do with it. You can still take “people on a journey” using a controller and a laptop.

          • Kelly Myers

            Actually it does and people know (having wised up) that digital DJs could potentially be lying through their hearshaped hand signs about whether or not they are even mixing live. You should never have to ask yourself or your DJ… “hey, is it live or is it memorex?”…

            Digital sets itself and the DJ up for fakeness. So why go there? To save a buck?

          • Ezmyrelda

            So it’s up to us as the consummate DJ’s to work to change that perception.. It’s not something that would be hard to do either.. Stop allowing clubs to put us behind booths that disconnect us from the dance floor and allow the floor to see that the things we do aren’t just fake little movements for show.

          • Kelly Myers

            Play vinyl and problem solved.

          • Ezmyrelda

            See, that seems a lot like that dogma that I’m not very fond of.

          • noxxi

            ahaha! memorex? fucking memorex? alright grandad. your opinions of digital djing are ridiculous. you just assume we are faking it because you cant see how we arent.
            To be honest, when i’m playing live, i dont sit and think “oh man, can everyone see how real i am? shit i hope they can see that im a “real dj” by my equipment”, no instead i focus on the music and making people dance. your so image conscious its patheitc, remember its not about you and your hangups, its about the music and the audience.

          • Kelly Myers

            Yes, memorex – as in pre-recorded CD-R, USB stick, whatever…. It’s a play on the old commercials and adds (which are not that old by the way, they were using that well into the mid 2000s and it applies here…especially when it comes to fakers).

            If you don’t think that doesn’t happen (a lot) you are part of the problem. But you are part of the problem.
            No I’m sure you don’t care about if people are thinking hey, I wonder if this guy is actually doing something back there or its all pre-recorded, pre-mixed, synced faker bullshit (which it sounds like it is with you)…. You are worrying about if you are making enough heart shaped hand signs or pumping your fist enough while trying to not have too much laptopscreen face going on, but just enough to make you look like you are into whatever it is you play. Which I’m sure is probably garbage. Image conscious? No, that’s for people like you to get hung up on which is why you are obsessed about technology because you think it makes you look all future. But in reality it makes you come off as Fischer Price.

          • noxxi

            hahaha! aw man i must have struck a nerve there. your last comment was just a stream of generic insults and stereotypical propaganda, the type usually peddled by people like you. yeah of course i pre record all my sets and hit play whilst making heart shapes, i mean i use digital right? obviously i must do all of that.

            why are you so sure that digital djs are faking it? do you watch ean goldens tutorial vidoes and go “hes faking it”? is it becuase being vinylist is all you know? some imagination you must have eh, scratch, and eq, can you do anything else other than those 2 things?

            i think you desperately want to beleive that all digital djs are faking it because it makes you think your amazing for using the opposite technology. yes some people will do anything to be on the opposite side of the fence, you would rather be a big fish in a small pond than take a chance in the ocean. limiting your self to the basics because your incapable of working outside those boundaries.

            i dont “think i’m all future”, i’m present. its you who’s living in the past

          • Kelly Myers

            Look man, you can bash me and vinyl DJs all you want. I will return it in kind. You are a faker by you own admission “I use sync”… remember that you said that. I didn’t.

          • noxxi

            i’m bashing you, not because your a vinyl dj but because your a dick. and i’m not bashing vinyl djs either, i have respect for what they do, i’m bashing the ones who cry faker every 2 seconds.
            i “admitted” to using sync so i “admitted” to being a faker?
            See there you go again, so desperate to think that me and other people like me are fakers!

            i do a lot more with the actual mixer and transport controls than you could ever do with analog, yes i use sync instead of beatmatching manually, but i am busy doing other things, things you dont get because your equipment doesnt work like mine. the sooner we can both respect that shit the better. or you can just stick to your guns and shout “faker” from the rooftops all day long, not like anyone is listening or even gives a shit anyway

            your skills are respectable
            my skills are respectable

            they are different, we play differently, i could argue that without sync, what i do is not practical, maybe not even possible. i mean do you honestly believe that i only use digital because i cant beatmatch? its not hard to learn or do, we both know that.

          • Kelly Myers

            Ok I may be a dick, but you are a hypocrite. I believe you use digital because you don’t spend a dime on your music. That’s why I think you are a hypocrite. And a faker.
            Busy doing other things? Wanking off hotknob twisting like a eurotrash fame whore. That’s what you do, that’s what people think you are because the secret is out.

          • noxxi

            hahaha! listen to yourself! nah mate i buy some stuff and i download other stuff for free, splus i buy sample packs, preset packs, loop packs, acapellas. if your assumption that digital users are all scammers was true, then native instruments and serato would be out of business, i think we can both agree that they are doing just fine.

            yeah i am busy twisting knobs, its called mixing and its no secret.
            if you cant see what there is to do beyond beat matching then your blind, and i listened to part of one of your sets, you mix top to tail, once your beatmatched and are clear of a song your pretty much standing around making heart shapes yourself till the next song is ready to be cued up, i’m not though, i’m busy making percussion and fx loops, or composing a remix from loops which requires me to be busy the entire length of the track.

            its become clear that your a troll, tell me this, if your so confident in your method, then why troll people with nonsense? pointing out that non of your comments actually justified your skills, and all of them were just random generic insults. people like me always try to be better, people like you sit on their laurels and claim superiority. pretty big words for an “internationally known dj” lol

          • Kelly Myers

            So basically you are asking people to enjoy to fuck around on your studio gear set up while you throw in loops and mod some effects and shit? If that isn’t wank, I don’t know what is. People don’t want to listen to the latest VST or sample pack from Vengeance you pirated or or “bought” from sampleloops.whatever or the mindless effects you put in over top of your “mix” to make you sound “exciting”.

            Look, just do your own thing – but please for the love of god, don’t call yourself a DJ. Because you are not. You are a controller monkey at best.

            BTW, if you have ever seen me DJ, you would know that I don’t stand around making heart shape signs. I will leave that to the jerkoff punks who will be in and out of this faster than I can flip a record.

          • noxxi

            your pathetic, you can list off all that shit in a derogatory manner all you want, but you couldnt do it even if you tried.

            I could say all that exact same shit to you, just replacing a few words, but that doesnt make it true. your a sore loser.

            and as it happens, people do seem to want to listen to it, like i said, its the music that matters, not where it comes from.

          • Kelly Myers

            Go ahead. Try it.
            And people do care. We are sick and tired of digital wankers. I just happen to be a bit more vocal about it than others.

          • noxxi

            “we”? you mean “you”.
            try what?
            you just refuse to accept the skill of someone who uses digital, just because they use digital and regardless of the skill they demonstrate. that says a lot about you as a person.

            anyway, your an idiot, good luck with your “international dj” career. ive got to go push play and sync right away. so good bye, its been pretty funny to be honest.

          • Kelly Myers

            Go press sync and realize just how much people are not “into you” or the music. They are there now for the scene to be seen factor now. You are responsible for that.

          • DJ Crazz

            I agree with Jan, we all need to stop focusing on the unimportant technical aspects of mixing and instead work on coming up a good cake recipe for throwing at the audience.

          • calgarc

            your laptop can take people on a journey ;p

          • dbee

            It doesn’t make sense?! lol I’m not a DJ, and it makes total and utter sense to me. I’m a musician, maybe that’s why. And being a real DJ in my eyes, means pretty much the same thing, that the DJ is an artist, and that they are performing with their tools, not for the sake of the audience, but for the sake of [hopefully] achieving something with their craft, that they previously had not.

            If you don’t get this, then I honestly feel sorry for you in a way. Or maybe you’re just too young, and don’t care about much else than getting laid, having fun and acting like a big shot for your “audience”. Likely an audience that is just as shallow minded as you are. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but there’s really no way to sugar coat it.

            I’m a jazz and blues guitarist by nature, but have gotten into artists such as Kangding Ray, Pole, Alva Noto+Ryuichi Sakamoto, Monolake etc.. and digging into that area of music, has given me a deep appreciation of not only electronic music and gear, but also their analog counterparts, as well as any object that an artist can incorporate into their vision of what they hear in their minds. Without this, you’re simply a monkey pushing a button and feeding your audience a fish biscuit.

          • Jan Hansen

            Kelly Myers answer doesnt make any sense because you dont have to use vinyl to be a underground DJ. Its not how you play its what you play.

          • Kelly Myers

            Jan – It makes sense, you just don’t like what it means.

          • calgarc

            High five 😀 check out klaus schulze… he did alot of his stuff on a les paul, he also pioneered trance and techno. oh and ryuchi is amazing. oh and i personaly write my stuff on a jazz box lol

          • Flyguy

            Nailed it

          • calgarc


          • Mutis Mayfield

            It is a fading truth buried by indivuduals like you. I respect what you say and live it but even the “near instrumentalists” turntablist are dying (or relegated to culture ghetto if you prefer) due to its inhability to “teach” newbies and that’s the point. If old school not embrace technology (in the good sense of it not ALL) to keep alive the Culture, technology turns “old” into irrelevant.

            To claim be a musician you should perform like one and it’s include with others. To me these description only fit in Masters like A-trak who take the time to put their knowledge into somethinglike ttm. Learning like kungfu isn’t better.

            http://Www.scratchML.com (or maybe org I’m typing not linking from web)

            Human has solidify which was fluid in their essence. – Bruce Lee talking about teaching Oneself expression artform throught Martial Arts (but applicable to everything if you “feel” it)

          • Kelly Myers

            I’m not a scratch DJ, but I appreciate their ability and skill. I have taught a lot of people how to mix over the years and many of them still DJ. So I don’t really think its a question of embracing technology.

          • Mutis Mayfield

            Then if we are only talking about “medium” we are talking about “feel” which is very personal. I agree in your pov but I’m not agreed in trying to keep it as “elitism” because these “actitude” works against “teaching” newbies imho of course.
            Expose your pov and let people choose and learn by themselves. If their (or me) are wrong, then time put them (us, me) in the right place.

            It is a matter of time but truth comes soon or later.

        • francis showerface

          I dunno what sort of shit EDM nights you go to but personally i’m very interested in the DJ’s skills when mixing!

          • Jan Hansen

            This is not about you and me but the fact that only DJs and nerds care about sync buttons vs manual beatmixing

        • maccardb

          Jim your not actually a performing artist are you ? Its just I cant imagine any actual artist insulting an audience by publicly stating something like that…so the art of the dj is making people dance by pressing a button… No one should pay you money to do that …

      • PeterPepper

        whatever you say, grandpa. have fun throwing out a hip lugging around your vinyl. /s

        ^ comments like yours actively undermine what the author of this article was trying to accomplish. great job making vinyl dj’ing look even more like a snobbish fraternity of people afraid of becoming obsolete.

        if you want to make this an “us vs. them” kind of thing, you’ve already lost. Do you even realize that, 25 years ago, you would have basically been the guitarist bitching at dj’s to learn how to play a real instrument?

        “go get em sir scratch-a-lot & lemme know when your stereo is goin on tour”

        • Kelly Myers

          It’s the attitude that people like PetePepper have that makes many of us just want to kick you all out of the booth and to the curb. Digital Djs wouldn’t have been allowed int he booth if it wasn’t for us, so grow up and act responsibly in the booth and with the culture and give it the respect it deserves. Otherwise fuck off and move onto the next music obsession on your list. We don’t want you here.

          • CUSP

            This seems to be a sense of “I have power” when there is none. Vinyl DJs CANNOT push this Tsunami back, but some think they can by demoralizing others who do not think like them. We’re not debating whether or not any form is valid, every form is valid… just like we still have manual and automatic transmissions on cars.

          • Kelly Myers

            CUSP – you continue to make excuses, but you don’t seem to recognize that its not about technology it’s about culture and respect. You don’t respect us, we don’t want you near our culture. So go play in the top 40 dance clubs and be wedding DJs on the side. That’s what your gear was designed for after all.

          • CUSP

            If you’re claiming elevated position of authority, you simply look like a “true believer” zealot.

            You claim I’m not respecting “your culture” which is false on both accounts. I am supporting the education not the means, and it’s not “your culture” to determine who is and who isn’t included. You may think so, but that’s an adolescent, elitist, attitude… and it’s wrong.

            I don’t play Top 40 in dance clubs, but I do take my gear to warehouse parties and underground music bars, which have DJ booths. My gear is designed to play music that people seem to like. If you cared more about that than the “prestige” of being “old school”, or “doing it right” (according to someone), you’d get over the medium and get over your elitism, but you’re not there yet.

    • natxein

      Sync sucks, you’re not a real dj

      • Jan Hansen

        Its funny how music that is created entirely on a computer; sampled, chopped, synced, quantized, programmed and arranged in a DAW cannot be played back to an audience using a utility like sync. And preferably using vinyl, 60 year old technology.

    • maccardb

      WOW … “Hit the sync button and use time to focus on the crowd, the music and selecting the right tracks”
      If you took the time to master the art of djing (analogue or digital) and were actually any good then you wouldn’t need that sync button …if you need a program to mix for you so you get more time with the crowd, music and to select the right tracks then may I suggest you hire a jukebox, get off stage and go mingle because I don’t think your ready to be up there…

      • CUSP

        Your ignorance is showing.

    • somonefor

      You should check Jeff Mills in his younger age,he could mix more vinyls in a minute then you could with the sync button.FYI top 100 beatport from 2009 is not by any means considered musical background.Check what masters did before traktor and serato was even an idea and see how they could play a vinyl,dance,have a drink,chill for a little while searching for the next record all while smoking then BAM,fuck you up with the next record.

      • Jan Hansen

        If Jeff Mills only had a sync button he could mix even more in a minute, dance more, drink more, chill more, search more for that next record and even fuck you up even more.

        • Ezmyrelda


        • Mal Achai

          You don’t know anything about Jeff Mills do you? He has no desire to “drink more and chill more” while he is mixing.

  • Garrett Cox

    in “repect for dj’s that came before you” “make someone go made with” should be “mad”. no biggie, just noticed it.

  • baju-baju

    Certainly agree that being able to use turntables is a nice skill to have, but in most of the cases we play to a chemically enhanced, hormone flooded young people who could not give a diddly squat about the subtle BPM fluctuations and the organic feel.
    May as well profess that anyone thinking of buying a digital camera takes a few years’ worth of life drawing classes. The sync button and the mp3 are just another step towards, but not the actual end of the world.

    • Kim Caesar

      “..a few years’ worth of life drawing classes.”
      Or, for the comparison to work better, maybe read up on how analog cameras work? If you’re aiming for a professional career, you won’t get far with the auto-settings, even if your camera body costs $6K.

      • baju-baju

        Ummm… No.
        Digital cameras followed directly analogue ones. Apart from WB, all settings, procedures and nomenclature are identical between the two systems.
        Laptop/controller DJing is separated from vinyl by the era of CDJs.
        The article does not suggest to “read up” on vinyl DJing, it professes that everybody should actually practice and learn.
        I hope you see the difference.

        On another note, back on the wonderful feel of a fluctuating BPM, why would anyone want the “organic feel” after the composers and producers used MIDI clock to sync the track to perfection? You want a floating feeling – learn to play the banjo (no disrespect meant, I actually learned the banjo, it’s brilliant!).

        • Kim Caesar

          Yes, you are correct, I did not think it through before posting.
          My thoughts where more directed towards the huge group of people who get new, modern digital cameras, but still have no real interest in how they actually work (shutter speed, aperture, ISO, etc.) and just expect to become “better” photographers, or that things are easier, because of the gear. Just as in the DJ business, the scene has been flooded with these kinds of people, making it harder for the professionals to be taken seriously. Sorry for going a bit OT btw.

          Though, on topic, I agree with one of the main points in the article; too many people pursuing a DJ career seems to have forgotten to actually listen to the music they are playing, and because of it, things tend to sound less personal and more streamlined.
          I’m just a “bedroom”/studio DJ myself, with not that many gigs played, but I went the long way and picked up a pair of 1200 mkII:s and a A&H mixer instead of a laptop and controller. I absolutely love it! 😀
          Might try the banjo if I get hold of one, until then I think I’ll stick to the guitar and piano. Programming synth patches on hardware is also fun!

  • Chaser720

    Agree with the below comments that the article is somewhat opinionated but it does have some good points.

    I know the first time I tried mixing vinyl into vinyl was a strange experience. Not being able to see when the next break/drop was coming on the laptop screen left me feeling kinda helpless. ha Really forces you to listen to the music. I think it made me a better DJ and I encourage anyone with the resources to practice on vinyl. You’ll know what I mean when you try it.

    • Vj prasan

      Funnily enough, the guy that gave me a job djing showed me a few cool things about vinyl. I could not beatmatch for toffee but I was able to visually beatmatch perfectly. He showed me that you can see the drops on vinyl as well!

      The pattern on the vinyl changes for the drops. Experienced vinyl djs can actually see this! Cool right?

  • Selecta

    Vinyl question aside, I agree with most of the article. New DJs need to learn to use their ears and know their music. You don’t need decks and vinyl to do this, just stop using the damn sync button and switch off the bpm counter.
    The essence of the article; know yourself and your music; holds true and too many DJs today don’t pay attention to that aspect and as a result the art is devalued.

    • 7f

      the full article makes sense, not just what you pick out from it to justify using only digital gear and cd’s 😉

      • Selecta

        I use vinyl in tandem with digital, but it’s ok you didn’t know that………

      • noxxi

        it only makes sense to you because it justifies your inate sense of being better than everyone else because you use vinyl

    • Christopher Allen

      I agree with every part of this but I feel that these things come from an appreciation of music not necessarily what you DJ with. Most of these skills can be picked up without the need for vinyl and then not learning all of them doesn’t mean you’re not dedicated to your craft. An artist doesn’t have to paint in every style before people accept his decision to stick with one method. Also, an over-analysis of music is not necessarily a good thing. I just started setting cues, and that’s only because I like to spend more time mixing and less time looking for parts of a song. But every time I listen to something I’m already conscious of this place and that place being a good starting point. It’s laughable to see DJs say they won’t play a song because they haven’t had a chance to analyze a track or set the cues.

      • Selecta

        “It’s laughable to see DJs say they won’t play a song because they haven’t had a chance to analyze a track or set the cues.”
        ^ I’m quoting this because I think it’s genius.
        I also agree completely with what you said just before that, developing your own sense of rhythm lets you get a subconcious heads up on the flow of a record and naturally brings you to what will work with it in a DJ sense.
        In a way, DJ’s may run the risk of being disconnected from the music in a way that the crowd is not. DJ’s should feel the music rather than watch it speed past on a laptop screen.

        • Teague Miles YoRo Carton

          thats why we wear headphones xD

          Nothing more annoying than seeing a resident club dj with a huge backing play a set of the same tracks every week and played in order. Watched him literally go down his playlist and play every track at the appropriate hot cue. There was literally more time spent looking around the club then there was DJing. Such a shame that someone gets payed what they do to be an Ipod when people came to hear a skilled DJ.

    • Jan Hansen

      A much better advice would be learn production and make dance music yourself. That way you will learn things about music that spinning black plastic never can.

      As technology is making DJing easier and easier its obvious that these “tips” from old DJs on how to do something easy as backwards as possible is just to protect them from the competition of the new wave of digital DJs.

      • Selecta

        I take your point, but why should a DJ learn production if they have no interest in it? I would also hazard that it is actually the other way around with regard to who needs protecting. Speaking personally, I embrace the technology but I don’t rely on it so I won’t ever be standing there looking silly because my sync broke/laptop died/.
        Technology does not suddenly make lazyness ok and the “backwards as possible” way of DJing is the only one that’s guaranteed to work every time. Your ears don’t blue screen on you.

    • Hans

      Did you know if you just push the sync button on any device, its not just gonna sync automatically for you? Only those that haven’t explored this button always say ‘bloody sync button blah blah blah…”. Its a lot more to it than just pushing sync.

      • Selecta

        Funnily enough I did know that, I’ve explored sync extensively and have learned it is not to be trusted. It also makes DJing quite boring in my opinion. I’ve also seen more than a few DJs literally fill their pants because the sync button isn’t working, or isn’t available, and all of a sudden they can’t DJ.
        That, in my humble opinion, is totally unacceptable.

        • Ezmyrelda Andrade

          I think it’s trustable enough if you know its limits. I view everything and everyone as trustable.. but within limits.. Trust is a very.. nuanced thing.. I trust people.. some people I trust to be self absorbed and self motivated.. It’s like that.. I trust sync.. But only after I’ve gridded a track, and locked it.. and even then maybe not completely..

      • djemir

        well I tried it out at Guitar center once back in the early 2000’s whatever the device was it had two of the identical record playing I slipped back one side just enough to double up the beats and it quickly went from the doubled beats I just created right back to sync I was like what the hell is this demonic device LOL and what the hell is this cheating ass bullshit! You won’t know the techniques of master DJs with sync on.. I think sync has it’s function and that’s when you want to use it as a creative tool to kind of create new rhythms on the fly by cutting up certain songs, but this can also be accomplished without sync if a DJ has his own internal sync mode on in his / her head.

    • Reuben Martinez

      Great point. You mention one doesn’t need a sync button or a BPM counter. To the point about learning from the past – do you know how to BPM a record without the fancy thing that sort of does it for you? I say sort of, because many times, it’s wrong. That’s why software tools have a way to “modify” it. A true DJ is driving down the street listening to a brand new song on the radio/satellite/etc., and the person next to them thinks they’re crazy – why? Because the DJ is humming a different song he’s planning on mixing in with it! The real DJ, be it digital, vinyl, or even production, is evaluating each song as they hear it. And as soon as they think they’ll use it, figuring out where in their set to use it. This brings me to another point – if you can only mix in the next song you always mix in at that particular point of song A, you’re not a DJ. A real DJ will mix in a song in response to the audience, the moment, and the flow – on the fly, and without practicing it a million times ahead of time. He is a true representative of the art form!

      • Selecta

        I do this without noticing I think sometimes. I hear a tune and while I’m listening another one will pop into my head that I’ve already heard, the next thing I know I have this urge to fire up my rig and have a mix 🙂
        I also agree with your point about throwing things into the mix on the fly, some DJs stick rigidly to a play list which from experience is not healthy. Being a vinyl or digital jock is not important, whereas being adaptable can really set you apart.

  • DDeean

    Most of this article feels a bit opinionated. I get why these things should be mentioned to starting DJs and the fluctuation of BPM on vinyl is a good point, but there’s no reason you could not concentrate on your ears with a controller for example. Most of the aides can be turned off (aside from waveforms I guess) to begin with and anyone who’s serious will do just that to practice. Not doing so is due to laziness/not-knowing more than the fact it’s a digital platform.

    Also, sorting/collecting music doesn’t actually have to have anything to do with being a DJ. I’ve listened and collected music since I was 14. When I started to get a bit more money I started to buy my favourites on vinyl, because I appreciate the moment of listening to a vinyl. I’ve accrued a varied taste having listened to music from all over the world and from various genres. This DJ hobby I picked up some half a year ago is just a continuation of my love for music and hopefully takes it into new exciting directions.

    So it comes to the cliché remark that it’s all about music and loving it. Digital DJ platforms have enabled lots of people to delve into the DJ world that had no financial possibility before and that’s a wonderful thing, because the one thing that is annoying about analog mixing is the cost and availability of gear and music. How many DJs never became, because they didn’t have the means? Should people who do not have access to vinyl not start DJing? Of course not.

    To clarify, I would fucking love to get my hands on some technics and start mixing vinyl more than my rudimentary knowledge atm, but that is just not possible right now (I don’t live in a big country or a big city, options are not abundant). If you love DJing, you will DJ on a unplugged keyboard if it somehow magically produced musical sounds. It’s not about the platform, but it is about trying everything and anything.

    • CB75

      I appreciated the different angle of the article, but you made some great points. You stated, “How many DJs never became, because they didn’t have the means?” That was almost me had digital DJing not evolved into its current state. When I started DJing, I was in my young 20’s and pouring all of my expendable income into my hobby. This meant dropping thousands into records and saving up to buy my Technics one deck at a time. That was fine when I only had myself to take care of, but then I made the personal choice to get married and soon after had two children. All of the sudden upgrading equipment or spending all day in record store dropping $100 for 9-12 records became a thing of the past. Clearly I was not going to become a professional.
      Digital DJing (specifically DVS) has allowed me to stay practiced with basic mixing skills while simultaneously allowing me to integrate digital technology without breaking the bank. As far as learning the fundamentals of DJing or selecting music is concerned, that is up to the DJ to commit themselves to. The good news is that kids can start DJing on their damn smart phone if that is all they have available. Unlike the comments made some vinyl trained DJ’s (I being one myself) on these forums, I don’t discriminate or base skill level by the type of equipment you use. I often wonder how many of my friends who quit DJing years ago would still be playing if they hadn’t been priced out.

    • Léo Darmon

      Hahaha DJ Press War yeeeeah

    • CUSP

      I guess this topic is like any Traditionalist argument. There are people who still hate; women, black people, infidels, and non-heterosexuals having equal rights, and they (unfortunately) choose to spend their energies trying to make sure we return to the bad old days, often by any means necessary. These people are wrong.

      • Kelly Myers

        CUSP – You keep waving your hand around over your DJ controller coming up with excuses like some kind of jedi mind trick as to why you have the position that you do and now you are trying to equate your shit to being “progressive” as in politically? (appeasement quite frankly just makes the aggressor stronger).
        We are sick of your shit, your gear, your antics in the booth wherever it is. We are tired of your nonsense. Go away. We know what you are all about. You don’t want peace. You want destruction of our dance culture so you can feel good about your bad purchasing decisions and sell out mind set.

        • CUSP

          You know this is a Digital DJ forum right?

          • Kelly Myers

            Actually the site is called DJtechtools but since you want to be a cunt like practically every digital DJ out there that has the position you do, so be it. It doesn’t change anything.

          • noxxi

            we are all cunts in this argument, your a massive cunt for being so cuntish about digital djing you cunt. i’m a cunt too. as soon as you bring it down to whos better than another, your a big fat fucking cunt

          • Kelly Myers

            Go press play or something then.