The art of Djing has changed a lot over the past 20 years. The digital era has seen the birth of a new generation of DJs who for some even allow themselves to play without using anything other than a computer.
And it’s hard to deny that digital has brought some really positive things, but it is nonetheless true that Djing was invented in the era of analog and vinyl and that it would be a big mistake to forget this heritage.
Even more so, if your only experience with mixing was digital, you should take a moment to take advantage of these 5 lessons that are always good to remember from the vinyl era:
1. Build a weekly routine
In the vinyl era, it took time to find music. You had to go to a record store, pre-listen to the EPs on the spot, and ask for reviews from record stores to find good titles for your baccalaureate.
Today you can find recommendations and hear what’s new from the comfort of your living room.
It’s both brilliant and a bit of a shame; on the one hand, it is now possible to make a selection of new titles very quickly and easily and on the other hand, it is also very easy to be distracted by a lot of things when you make your choice and finally to do that in a hurry without paying enough attention.
Do not devalue the value of your baccalaureate by not choosing your titles seriously. In addition, vinyl DJs usually went to the store once or twice a week and spent the rest of the time playing and practicing.
Take advantage of the time we save today in the search for titles so as not to spend too much time there and practice; ultimately the first goal is to master the art of DJing.
2. you will never find the perfect gear
It’s always tempting to look at other people’s gear and say to yourself “if only I had that I would be a great DJ”. But it’s a myth, the perfect gear doesn’t exist and never did. All equipment has its advantages and disadvantages.
Believe me, there will always be some weaknesses in your gear that will annoy you a lot.
The best DJs learn to cope with the limits of their gear and still make the most of it. Back in the days of vinyl, it was something all DJs had to do.
Most of the equipment used by vinyl DJs was not even made for mixing. The mixers did not always sound very good, the gear was not maintained, and as the vinyl deteriorates over time, it often happened that the cells jump on the record.
But the DJs did with it. So don’t waste too much time complaining about your gear and learn how to do the best with what you have, it will do in front of a much better DJ.
3. be difficult
Because it’s now so easy to find new sounds, and it’s not very expensive anymore, a lot of DJs have thousands of songs in their library.
And it is very likely that these DJs do not use most of these songs and even have a lot of them that they only listened to once before putting them in a category like “title that I” will use one day ”.
In the past, DJs had to choose carefully which records to add to their collection. Music was expensive, so it was important to be difficult. It’s worth doing a little snobbery when it comes to fueling your music library.
Just because you can store millions of songs on your hard drive doesn’t mean you have to. Listen carefully to each title and think carefully about how it can fit into your collection before downloading it.
If you think it’s just a title you might use someday then don’t buy it.
4. It’s not all about tricks
Most vinyl equipment wasn’t originally made for mixing, so it wasn’t possible to do all of the amazing manipulations that DJs can do today.
Most DJs “just” played tracks in the correct order (programming), one after the other making sure they sounded good together (mix).
Many DJs are now primarily concerned with “tricks”; it is something important of course but the priority remains to do things in order.
Make sure you have mastered the basics of the mix (track selection, cueing, beatmatching, etc…) before moving on and adding tricks to your sets.
5. make it visual
Vinyl DJs often added little stickers or markings to their records to make it easier to remember where things were. And even without that, the simple fact of the differences between the covers, the labels, the thickness of the discs even, made it possible to find our way around quite easily and in a very intuitive way.
Most of those things are gone with digital where everything is stored in iTunes lists and file names.
However, it is possible to come back to it in part: attach images (such as the covers) to your sound files and configure your mixing software to display them to you in addition to the other information.
This simple manipulation can make your life easier and make things simpler and faster for you.
Ultimately most people either think it was better before (in the days of vinyl we really mixed) or prefer the digital age but it is much more productive to consider the pros and cons of both worlds. and use them for his own benefit.
The evolution of DJ equipment has brought a lot of good things, but one that can be enjoyed even better by learning from the past.
Many DJs who cut their teeth in the vinyl era are going to make even better use of today’s equipment as they apply what they have learned to modern technology.
So take advantage of these lessons when you use your new gear and you will be surprised to see how much they can enrich your digital DJing experience.
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