Does digital DJing really help? Or to become a DJ means a CD or record collection?
The biggest development if you want to become a DJ is whether you want to become a record or digital DJ. It maybe an easy answer for some, but for the start up DJ (and some Pros) it isn't really that clear.
Sometime ago, a DJ bhaving a laptop with them was really rare. Now it seems rare not to. The amount of eleaborate setups are on the increase with a new breed of DJ using a lot more outboard equipment to enhance their sets, making every set unique and increasing the atmosphere within the room.
But not all DJs have thrown away their record boxes, some are even more tied to them as ever, so if you want to become a DJ you are getting pulled between the two areas, digital and record.
While the digital DJ seems quite logical, it is not really that practical in the long run.
- encoding your whole record library for digital use
- watching your laptop at every second at every minute for people with sticky fingers- is that fun at the venue?
- if you damage your equipment , well that is pretty expensive for the newbie who wants to become a DJ.
However, sometimes you wont get the best- new- tracks on digital format. Sometimes the "record houses" still prefer to do "records" and the record DJ will have a lead with new sounds- loved by the crowd.
There is also the issue of some venues not converting over to the digital age. There are some clubs that still have the old analog cable and sockets that sound "better" than a digital set up.
So the arena is quite scary for the beginner DJ.
So what should you do? Listen to one bit of advice and then find it being contradicted by someone else? Hey, you want to become a DJ, but boy what a headache.
The best answer is sometimes to do both. It looks far better if you are turning the tables while you are at the venue rather than staring at a laptop. However if some DJs state that they only use laptops then they are lying.
The majority of DJs now are digital and that grew astronomically when Ableton came about. Alot of DJs send MP3s via email and even more get them set to them from the general public or from Producers. But when they create a set, most will either:
1- do all their prep work at home, creating a CD that they can play and then mix into it tunes.
2- have a laptop at the venue, but also have decks. These are usually virtual decks- either CD decks or USB decks that can be hooked upto DJ software. Sometimes having the facility to mix a loop into a software program there and then can be far more enjoyable- with the software running in time with the decks.
3- Some DJs are miss trustful of CD decks. They are good, but how about if they stick? Some DJs are too set in their ways and feel more comfortable with a record or a software program than a CD deck.
If you want to become a DJ it all comes down to testing and seeing which one you prefer. There is no real right or wrong, but what there is is a limit on your time. If it takes you ages to sort out a record then try the CD then try the software packages. Nothing is set in stone- but one thing is for certain records have had their day. The DJs that refuse to listen to that will be left behind. You either digitally download or you CD spin. If you can create a kickin' track using software- who cares then?
However, if there is one big tip that you should go away with is this one: It is advisable to learn the basics. Knowing what you are trying to listen to, manually beat matching, manually linking tracks together is an art in itself. What happens if your software crashes, or you loose your CDs? understanding the basics will set you off far better than jumping into some software package. Learning the decks and what everything does is a far better way to learn. The best thing is? Vinyl decks are cheap nowadays, even CD decks are coming down in price. You can also get bundles that sometimes are cheaper than a deck. Try those- go to basics, then when you have mastered those- then you will be well on your way to become a DJ.
If you want to become a DJ then the best place to start is with a Pro. International DJ Danny Rampling has created an ebook with everything you need to know about how to become a DJ. Check that out first here: Become a DJ like the Pros