DJing Discussion

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Vinyl DJs vs. CD DJs

Trikz 10:18 PM - 27 May, 2007
My intention is not to start beef over this post. However recently I have been having discussions with people over dj'ing and I can't seem to respect cd djs. Maybe cuz when I started back in '97, all we did was buy vinyl, and that's what DJ'ing was to me. Endless nights of scratching and mixing and juggling... even mixing house was all done on vinyl. These days you have kids burning music off limewire, walking in with a book of cds and headphones, charging half of what vinyl djs charge, and bringing down the value of djs.

Any comments on this issue? Am I wrong to have this animosity? Honestly, I have to swallow my pride when I see these guys walk in after thinking about how how only 3/4 years ago I was lugging around 6 crates of vinyl and saving up every penny I had to get my collection going. I still buy vinyl, granted more vintage and classic stuff to have in my collection. But isn't DJ'ing a vinyl thing (minus serato, we all LOVE it, it saved me money, fromhassles at the border, from back pain and tired nights, but I still play using vinyl b/c that is DJ'ing, no?).

P.S. No hate towards cd djs per se.. do what you gotta do. I just want perspectives from different people. My thesis in modern music and technology is based on this topic so I want some feedback. Reespect!
DJ_X_Trodinaire 11:54 PM - 27 May, 2007
Trikz 12:18 AM - 28 May, 2007
that link just takes me to the search page
Swanski 2:11 AM - 28 May, 2007
You are correct in having that animosity. Real djs should have learnt from digging and practicing, not downloading. I have the same animosity. Worse yet there is mobile dj companies that don't have a single legitimate copy of any given song and that my friend brings down the entire industry. Your animosity is justified and shared by many I am sure.
Lexi 2:14 AM - 28 May, 2007
Find out why they made cds in the first place - more songs, better quality, longer lasting. Why DJs use cds? Cds are very easy to get and play. Why DJs use vinyl? Sound manipulation and various other techniques of juggling and mixing. Most newer DJs use cds and limewire because that's what they know, its from their generation. Ask yourself the point of DJing? Please the crowd, and maybe playing music makes you feel good too. Can cds please a crowd? Yes. Can vinyls please a crowd? Yes.
Lexi 2:15 AM - 28 May, 2007
Oh maybe forget limewire, but other pay-for-play sites.
nik39 3:15 AM - 28 May, 2007
Trikz 7:33 AM - 28 May, 2007
fair enough... so we've established the fact that we, as vinyl djs, struggled to get the proper music and learn the techniques on the technics (i know, but i had to) to be creative and artistic. How does one treat a cd dj? Most of us have been in this industry for a minute, and have learned that it takes more than technical skills and the love of djing to make it in the game. But where do we draw the line? It just bugs me to do gigs and see this jokers. Nik39 sighs, I cringe, Lexi justifies, and Swanski But wtf guys? Yes CDs rock the crowd, but its robbery. I was proud to tell people i DJ, and I used to get respect for being that loner practicing and being a music nerd. Now, I am compared and equated to people who have no clue about mixing, crowd control, or creative innovation.

Have the massed gotten dumber or are we fighting a lost cause?
nik39 7:38 AM - 28 May, 2007
The question is... do we need to talk again and again and again about the same things?

That's the reason X pointed you to the search page - this has been discusse numerous times. :)
Swanski 7:12 AM - 29 May, 2007
Peopla have been talking about the same things since, well, people began to talk. It's not a new concept.

The question you need to read about the same thing? Doesn't bother me....
CMS 4:54 PM - 29 May, 2007
I've been using CDs since 1995. When I started off there were no CD burners, you had to go digging just as you would for vinyl. Even when burners came out in the late 90's they were still expensive so they were too cost prohibitive to own. Most of the music that I have on my hard drive has been ripped from CDs I own. Only in the last couple of years have I started buying music online.
Trikz 6:13 AM - 30 May, 2007
Fair enough... there's more than one way to look at it, thanks CMS. It seems different when your facing losing gigs to guys who will do the work for cheaper, and you know exactly what it is.
cappinkirk 4:00 PM - 30 May, 2007
look at it from the audience's perspective (or a functional perspective). music is being played regardless of the media used. who cares (other than the performer)? be real! unless someone is paying for a "turntablist" why would you pay more for the same service if the only person that knows the difference is the person doing it?

i'm one of those old school wax cats myself but I don't succumb to agreeing with stuff if it isn't logical.
CMS 4:04 PM - 30 May, 2007
I agree with the losing gigs part to people who do it for cheaper because they haven't paid for their music. In the end though if the customer, whether it be a bride and groom or a club owner, will get what they pay for.
cappinkirk 4:20 PM - 30 May, 2007
in a free market anyone can offer their services at any price regardless of skill level or whether or not they paid for their music.
CMS 9:06 PM - 30 May, 2007
^^ Exactly. In a free market the saying "You get what you pay" also holds true. If I were throwing a party I wouldn't want some guy showing up with and ipod to DJ.
cappinkirk 3:59 PM - 31 May, 2007
^^ what if "dj ipod" can wreck it? what if he has ill techniques you don't even know about?
CMS 4:47 PM - 31 May, 2007
When I said ipod I meant somebody who would just show up and do the play/stop stuff with no mixing. If they have skills they deserve everything they get. There was another thread where one of the posts was about a guy getting hired to do a wedding and the bride asked him if the sound stopped between songs. That's the crap I mean.
monkeybiz 9:57 PM - 31 May, 2007
It sounds like you have a problem with DJs who don't buy their music. Just because someone uses CD doesn't mean their collection isn't legit. People make the same assumptions about hard drive-based DJ's, so if you're using SSL, people can't tell whether or not the music was acquired legally or not.
Lexi 10:23 PM - 1 June, 2007
Forget all you vinyl freaks. What about those tape djs? Ever juggle cassette tape? Cassette guys hate on vinyl guys, vinyl guys hate on cd guys, cd guys hate on mp3 (and various other format) guys...What will mp3 guys hate on?
DJ_X_Trodinaire 6:40 AM - 2 June, 2007
What will mp3 guys hate on?

Video mixing... lol
cMo 2:08 PM - 5 June, 2007
What will mp3 guys hate on?

Video mixing... lol

Yes, I'll be mixing videos asap
Lexi 4:05 PM - 5 June, 2007
After video mixing the last thing there will be is live performances by the actual artists...
cappinkirk 4:49 PM - 5 June, 2007
i hire all the actual bands from the songs to come when i serato at parties, everybody else is wack. screw 128kbps
DJ Eighty 8 1:48 AM - 7 June, 2007
Man this debate is old, if your on this forum using Serato how much can you really say? You say you started back in 97, well look how much the game of DJin' has advanced up to the point you started. Look homie I'm almost 40 and I can talk all the back in the day shit 4 real, I was there. Truth of the matter is I use Serato and I own Numark HDXs, so let people be what their gonna be. Where I'm from as long as you can keep the crowd movin' night in and night out, that's all that matters. You can't expect a kid whose dream it is to be a DJ to amass the vinyl we have/had that's just not what's in in 2007! Do a youtube search some of thses guys are wicked with CDJ's. Again we're all using Serato, I mean really guys how much can we say? In 1997 you could walk in any store you wanted and get that new Biggie shit, that wouldn't happend in the record shop in 1977 unlest you knew someone. In 1997 you started with direct drives and bought your system from the local music center. Try building your own speakers from scratch and using belt drive tables and shit amps. All to do a house party Friday night and then go to Fairmount Park Saturday night and blow up your whole set-up. We did this week in and out, so a guy like me could look at U 2 a certain point and say U got it easy. Nothin but love 4 U man, but PLEASE don't get caught up in that bullshit game. A true, true ol' schoolah' will put U in ya place. By the way every top DJ new and old has used some form of CDJ's, believe that!
DJ FRANK B 6:49 AM - 7 June, 2007
Yo I am a veteran who just switched to serato! I myself now only buy vintage vinyl for my collection. I can tell my skillz as a turntablist has grown big time. This is something that cd djs can not match. If you are a true DJ then no equipment will defeat you but only add to your arsenal!!!!!!
shiestO! 9:17 PM - 7 June, 2007

nice post ;)
shiestO! 9:28 PM - 7 June, 2007
^^ what if "dj ipod" can wreck it? what if he has ill techniques you don't even know about?

i can't wait til the ipod dj thing actually has accurate pitch control, platters (non spinning i guess) and fader settings (not for performance) how badass would it be to be on a 2 day road trip and instead of switchin cd's or ipod tunes, your passenger can mix and scratch! i'd be wreckin shit like.. wikki wikki... take a left up here-- fr-fr-fresh oh shit only 10 more miles... etc.
cappinkirk 9:47 PM - 7 June, 2007
...if you could cut with the ipod touchpad circle thing haha
dj_KaSE 11:02 PM - 10 June, 2007
I suggest marketing yourself as being better than toy DJs if your concern is fair financial gain. Any business basically involves investment in order to gain a profit. You have to spend money to make money, and any DJ who spends money in order to make money is a business person.

Now having said that, as with any business, you have to advertise yourself with confidence. You have to figure out a way to convince people you're better than the next DJ. This is what'll help you stand out, because nowadays no one really cares if you're rockin' vinyl.

You must realize that in the struggle between who gets their music from whatever source, and what medium is better than the other, those who complain about DJs who use cheaper and/or newer technology have already lost that struggle. It's over. Technology has always evolved and all the new CD/MP3/video shit is here to say.

So instead of wasting away your energy on complaining about how that wack DJ over there got his music from Limewire and uses CDJs, smart DJs will instead get their music from legal sources, will allow their mixing and skratching style to evolve along with technology, and most of all, WILL KNOW HOW TO MARKET THEMSELVES.

To the customer, perception is probably the most important factor when considering who to hire, along with reputation. Don't worry about those toy DJs, because in the long run they won't benefit much. Their wackness can only take them so far, whereas the rest of us professionals will know how to make more money and how to do some crazy turntable manipulation with all the great new technology.
sixxx 8:16 AM - 11 June, 2007
I just have a problem with the following line:

"why would you pay more for the same service if the only person that knows the difference is the person doing it?"

Not at all. Go to a hip hop show and play with iPods and as you're being booed off stage, ask yourself if you really were the only one that knew the difference.

This doesn't apply to hip hop shows. There are lots of customers, YES, CUSTOMERS out there that know what's up. Now clubs may be a different thing but when people are hiring a mobile service SOME do want the real thing... you best believe that. I've seen it. I've experienced it.

Also, some club owners do want the real deal too. I've seen and experienced that first hand too. :)
cappinkirk 2:33 PM - 11 June, 2007
sixxx first thing tonight I am going to go scratching with an ipod at a hip hop show & get booed off the stage & then i will ask myself your question.
cappinkirk 2:35 PM - 11 June, 2007
thank you for taking my statement out of context and misinterpreting it.
dj_KaSE 7:17 PM - 11 June, 2007
i can skratch with an ipod. that is, i can skratch my balls with it.
DJ Smooth B. 7:54 PM - 11 June, 2007
First i want to say, I never touched a cd-player in a club and as long i can use vinyl or Serato i wouldn't, but for me is the result what counts. If there is a DJ who makes a crazy show with two cd-players, juggelin' & scratchin' it up, that's cool, but in my whole time as a DJ (15 years) i met only two guys doing magic things with cd-players, but a lot more vinylists. And this is only for Hip Hop-DJs, if you play techno i think there is no difference between both systems, the eqs make the whole action.
I hope, i never have to stop playing with my turntables, in the best case they produce the technics at least till i die...
Play music with your iPod, Serato, cds, vinyls, but try to do the best with it ! :-)

cappinkirk 8:08 PM - 11 June, 2007
digital dj's is what we all are unite brothers
DJ_X_Trodinaire 8:27 PM - 11 June, 2007

Play music with your iPod, Serato, cds, vinyls, but try to do the best with it ! :-)


thats it!
Dj Retro1 7:41 AM - 29 October, 2017
I started out in Radio, using vinyl, in 1982. I took vinyl from club to club, moved cross country from East to West, where I turned over clubs' crowds from aketchy to beach crowds or hotel guest crowds. Then I began doing weddings.

When my lower back made me realize switching to vinyl would be lighter I switched to CD. They sound great and have a beefier sound than mp3s. Sure my beefy club Dj buddies screamed 'traitor you went CD!'

Newsflash, for a club, a turntablist, vinyl and heavy beat mixing is a needed talent.
It is also an impressive talent.

But for most weddings, you are going from Sinatra and Dean Martin to Bruno Mars, and using the mic a lot more as an MC, which is another full skill set.

I have gotten to the point where I have been hired just to MC or just make announcements both for weddings and events with up to 10k audience members. So speaking on the mic is my thing.

I respect a good turntablist, but no not a casstte tape jockey. We had a company in the 80s in Ca that went from zero djs to 5 overnight, and sounded horrible, using all cassettes.

I still use CDs after attending a number of events where computer mp3 jocks had skips, errors, crappy on the fly downloads of low res, or dead air. So keep the mp3s. It sucks the entry barrier lowered prices.

Just did a 90th birthday party for a guy, and I did a schtick where I wished the guy a happy birthday and played the popular song from when he was born, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, and 90.

That's part game show host part DJ.
People from age 20-90 danced to a crazy wide variety. One guy said, 'wow' cds...I laughed and asked. 'How many errors, skips dead air was there tonight?'. 'Um, none'. There you go.

The only guys worth hating on and disrespecting work too cheap, dj trainwrecks (they don't OR segue well), and when they need to use the mic they don't.

If you are a hard core club dj, unless you push drink specials you really don't need to be on the mic that much. But weddings, you damn well better.

Anyway, djing was a lot more fun in the 80s. Finding and buying the music, picking up horny brides maids.

Being married you just go and dj and cone home lol.
eugguy 10:56 AM - 29 October, 2017
Dj Retro1 7:12 PM - 29 October, 2017
The main point the others expressed technology is going to win out.

But truly the guy that's that cheap isn't necessarily your competition you don't want to work for a Calibre of client that's willing to accept that love equality anyway

Back in the day we had to man the vinyl turntables and turn around and Man the video controllers. It's awesome now that you can do both and bring back video mixing which we did in the 80s. So everything you Millennials think is new and exciting we've already done. Enjoy.
eugguy 1:50 AM - 30 October, 2017
☝️, It is truly sad when some dj’s need to feel relevant by saying they carried crates or used turntables. Either way, doing this for 20+ years, I’ve seen my fair share of sh-tty djs and good djs use all different types of technology. It is the ones that only reminisce about old times that truly have never evolved but still believe they were somehow relevant.
Dj Retro1 2:55 AM - 30 October, 2017
Yawn, anything I did in my was relevant to the 2500 clients who had a great DJ, and the 5 subs I kept employed. But tuen again your opinion couldn't be any less relevant, lmfao.
Dj Retro1 2:56 AM - 30 October, 2017
Then again..(sic)
DJ Emir 4:08 AM - 30 October, 2017

When my lower back made me realize switching to vinyl would be lighter I switched to CD. They sound great and have a beefier sound than mp3s. Sure my beefy club Dj buddies screamed 'traitor you went CD!'.

Later on your lower back is going to wish you kept exercising those muscles, JK ;) - And though I've moved to Serato, it now seems like many smaller lounges and clubs don't buy their own equipment (turntables or CDJs) anymore and any weddings and private gigs will also require not only DJ set up but sound as well, so we've, for the most part traded lugging crates of records to clubs that had turntables to lugging equipment anyway, still getting our workout LOL
DJ Emir 4:32 AM - 30 October, 2017
Well this discussion was started way back in 2007 and at that time many had already switched to the "Wheels of Plastic" as I had aptly coined them back then LOL It came from a heated debate where one guy was advocating CDJs, More power to you if you can rock the little wheels, especially those ultra tiny jog wheels they use on some of the controllers these days. But I told the guy, most of the skilled DJs started on vinyl because it took a certain amount of skill to really be deft with the equipment and gentle enough not to bounce the needle, these guys therefore learned better "Record Control" and were often much better at mixing and trick mixing and of course scratching because of learning on traditional turntables. So whether they were now on CDJS or on Digital Vinyl systems their roots are what made them stronger DJs to begin with. No matter what you use, the main thing is your own skills at using the equipment... but then at the end I threw in ... but as for me I prefer to mix on actual turntables after all as the wise man "Sir Mix-alot" once said "plastic parts are made for toys" and when people announce your name on the big stage do you really want them saying "and on the WHEELS OF PLASTIC we got.... " HE HE HE and that's when I coined the term WHEELS of Plastic for CDJS which subsequently also applies to controllers.

Those controllers are great for small gigs and spots with tight spaces or as a backup, but lets face it they feel like toys sometimes when your big hands get placed on these tiny control wheels, some feel better than others and are more like deejaying on 45's or 7 inch records :) but others are pure jokes and really cramp your style.

I will DJ on CDJS if I absolutely have to. For instance, before serato if I could not find a song in time on vinyl I would download a temporary copy burn those hot songs onto CD then use one CDJ as a 3rd turntable just for the 2-5 songs I could not yet find on vinyl until I could find those songs on vinyl. Or later on with serato if another DJ was using CDJ and I had to share the night then OK, I will make due with CDJs for the night just to keep things simple. But I totally notice a decline in performance as the CDjs aren't as pliable as turntables when it comes to scratch technique and juggling techniques.

Other than that if I can, I will write it into the contract as part of the DJ performance rider, Must set up two Technics turntables and a Rane 57, 62 or Pioneer DJM-S9 or... etc... I have actually flown places with my mixer (My Pioneer S9 and earlier my Pioneer 909 and or Rane TTM56 and just made sure they have the Techs, since some clubs had questionable mixers when I talked to them. Not sure about everyone but for me it feels more natural to DJ on Technics turntables vs just about anything else.
eugguy 9:57 AM - 30 October, 2017
It looks plain silly scratching or performing “turntablism” on a controller, heck even cdjs. Some things just look more natural and acceptable on turntables and a mixer. Technology is always moving towards more efficiency, but it doesn’t always mean it is also effective. There are less and less djs who can utilize and manage a set with turntables now that cdjs and controllers are out. But honestly, it is up to them what they choose to use. I don’t necessarily care what equipment a dj uses, but what is more of an issue is the lack of creativity new technology can cause. Technology should harbor and accelerate creativity, not keep it at a stand still and nurture complacency. Those same djs that do not see the benefit of new technology are also limiting their creative ability, but whatever works for you.