Mix in the New Style DJ – tips
Here I will give you some great DJ tips one why to make the digital transition.
Everything is going digital these days and lots of industries have changed their product range and some haven’t. The companies that have not changed their product range have either gone bust or carried on doing what they do because they’re in a niche market. DJ equipment is defiantly unique and niche and there isn’t much competition between the big players. You have Pioneer making the CDJ’s and you will find 2 or more of these CD players in pretty much all bars and clubs and then you have Technics making the classic 1210’s. The decks have in use professionally since 1972 and are still being used widely in the DJ world today. These are the main music players where you would use either a digital CD on the CDJ or an analogue vinyl record on the 1210 deck, however, these days I haven’t come across one single DJ that doesn’t use a laptop with all songs in mp3 digital format.
So how can a DJ who learned their skills still play using the original platforms, but update their music library to be stored as mp3 on a laptop? The only way is to use a piece of software and hardware called Serato. The software integrates decks with a digital platform (laptop) which allows the DJ to still mix and scratch with the vinyl. The software works equally well with CDJ’s and other CD players. Listed below are common questions asked by other DJ’s and guests at the party.
Is it responsive?
Yes, the software is very responsive and it is almost impossible to tell that the DJ is playing on a normal vinyl. Of course the laptop is main power hub and if you’re using an old / slow laptop, this will obviously affect track upload speed etc.
Is the DJ really mixing?
Yes! The DJ is definitely mixing and doing as they would if playing with either normal CD’s or vinyl records. The only difference is the music is stored in mp3 format on a hard disk. Whilst playing I’ve had a lot of people come up and questions and some with critical assumption that I’m using a laptop and the decks are not turned on! Just explain and show them what you’re actually doing!
Is the product expensive and what are the running costs?
The initial costs are expensive if you need a laptop as well, but the cost for Serato with hardware and software is between £400 and £500. The only ongoing costs you have going forward is for music!
What do you do if the laptop crashes?
Going back to what I mentioned, it is pretty crucial that you use a good and reliable laptop. Personally I use a Mac which is quick and reliable compared to other makes. However, no laptop (including Macs) is 100% safe, so carry a couple of vinyl’s or CD’s with you on the off chance your software crashes. You should always have a backup! On the flip side, if one of the CD decks stops working, you can mix using the laptop only.