Mixing on CD decks... whats the point?

ichabod

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To start with, I'm not a DJ; I've only ever laid hands on a pair of decks about 3 times in my life.

I have umm-ed and arrr-ed about getting some CD decks for a while but they seem pretty steep for what they are. I've been playing around with a couple of bits of DJ software and have been starting to wonder - what the hell is the point in CD decks anyway?

A laptop and some good DJ software can do everything decks can plus a hell of a lot more (more fx, automixing and beatmatching for a start :Smile3: ). I know people can get a bit snobbish about this kind of thing 'I don't want to go to a party to see some guy sat in front of his laptop' or ' I've learnt to do DJ the hard way so why the hell shouldn't everyone else'. etc. (There seems to be exaclt y the same kind of snobbishness from Vinyl users towards CD users) but at the end of the day its a tool - a means to an end. If using DJ software allows better mixes more easily then surely everyone should use it?

The only argument for using decks that springs to my mind is that the controls are laid out better and with bigger buttons. (Something that could probably be remedied with custom control devices for a computer?) Unfortunately I think that at the end of the day, the main argument for decks is that they are somehow 'cooler' and are the mark of a 'real' DJ :iconfused

Are there any other good arguments for using decks - as I've never done DJing I don't know all of the ins and outs - this is purely my (possibly) ill-informed view of things!
 

Will Dogon

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Well, for one, i would prefer to just turn up at a gig with a case of cds rather than having to lug a laptop and all the bits and pieces around with me having to worry about it all night.
 

jamez_23

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yeah, Good point Will .....

Also, if you buy music on cd, it's easier just to whack em into a cd player to mix with them ...

Having said this - there is nothing wrong with going down the laptop route if that is what you really want to do. Just because some people think differently ..... so what ? :Smile3:
 

trancetheory

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I think its good to learn as many mediums as possible, I only really started using CDjz this summer, and I loved it, but since then I've started using Live!, and that just blew me away.....I'm now concentrating on Live, because of the music production side and the ability to mix into it, but being able to use Vinyl & CDj is definitly good, although I suspect I will be juz luggin a cube & Keyboard round with me from now on :iyes:
 

ichabod

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Ripping a CD only takes a few minutes. Then searching through tracks on you hard disk is miles easier than looking thorugh your CD folder in the the dark.. all your tracks are there at the touch of a button. Plus software like Traktor can store metadata with your tracks like tempo, cue points etc which must make life way easier organising your sets...
 

ichabod

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Also... if there was a 'standard' piece of DJ software which everyone knew how to use it might be possible to use a single laptop all night and the DJs just bring an external hard disk with their tunes?
 

Red five

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ichabod said:
Ripping a CD only takes a few minutes. Then searching through tracks on you hard disk is miles easier than looking thorugh your CD folder in the the dark.. all your tracks are there at the touch of a button. Plus software like Traktor can store metadata with your tracks like tempo, cue points etc which must make life way easier organising your sets...
how?

i use traktor and 2 cdj 500's to mix....and you can beatmatch on cdj as well.
 
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have you watched someone like mack mixing? it's skilled as, it's art
ok it's rare but i'd pay to see that any day
his brain stores the cue points!
for people without his skills maybe traktor would be kinder for the audience
 

lurk

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ichabod said:
Ripping a CD only takes a few minutes. Then searching through tracks on you hard disk is miles easier than looking thorugh your CD folder in the the dark.. all your tracks are there at the touch of a button. Plus software like Traktor can store metadata with your tracks like tempo, cue points etc which must make life way easier organising your sets...
To me this sounds like over-organising and taking the spontinaeity (sp?) out of dj'ing. I don't use any set lists and usually only work out my first track 10 minutes before I start, at which point I'll usually decide what I'm going to finish with. I may have a pretty good idea of what tracks will come in between, but I never know. I might start at 140 and finish at 145bpm, I might play 143 the whole way through, or I might start at 146 and get slower. I may play certain tracks the whole way through, I might just use a chunk of them to create something else. A lot depends on the people on the dancefloor. If you have all of this pre-programmed then what you describe seems to me to be taking the spontinaeity and the soul out of dj'ing and making it into just another computerised process.

Just my 2 pence :Smile3:
 

Aurora

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ichabod said:
To start with, I'm not a DJ; I've only ever laid hands on a pair of decks about 3 times in my life.

I have umm-ed and arrr-ed about getting some CD decks for a while but they seem pretty steep for what they are. I've been playing around with a couple of bits of DJ software and have been starting to wonder - what the hell is the point in CD decks anyway?

A laptop and some good DJ software can do everything decks can plus a hell of a lot more (more fx, automixing and beatmatching for a start :Smile3: ). I know people can get a bit snobbish about this kind of thing 'I don't want to go to a party to see some guy sat in front of his laptop' or ' I've learnt to do DJ the hard way so why the hell shouldn't everyone else'. etc. (There seems to be exaclt y the same kind of snobbishness from Vinyl users towards CD users) but at the end of the day its a tool - a means to an end. If using DJ software allows better mixes more easily then surely everyone should use it?

The only argument for using decks that springs to my mind is that the controls are laid out better and with bigger buttons. (Something that could probably be remedied with custom control devices for a computer?) Unfortunately I think that at the end of the day, the main argument for decks is that they are somehow 'cooler' and are the mark of a 'real' DJ :iconfused

Are there any other good arguments for using decks - as I've never done DJing I don't know all of the ins and outs - this is purely my (possibly) ill-informed view of things!
In my opinion;
1. djing on a computer does not give the same feel for the tracks as on decs
2. autobeatmaching, if a dj can't put beats together, maybe this person has no understanding for the tracks and rythm and should maybe not be a dj (when you learn to beatmach you also learn a lot about what tracks goes well together and produces nice mixes)
3. Every dj has their own "style" of mixing, with programs doing this for you we will lose the originality of djs and is there then a point to have a dj at all (or should we just have a jukebox/computer on the stage?)
 

Red five

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lurk said:
To me this sounds like over-organising and taking the spontinaeity (sp?) out of dj'ing. I don't use any set lists and usually only work out my first track 10 minutes before I start, at which point I'll usually decide what I'm going to finish with.
how over organised are you?

i dont prep mixes either, and as for saying if you aint as good as mack..then you should use traktor, are you as good as mack cyhtg? best save up for a laptop missus eh?:ibiggrin:
 
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Aurora said:
3. Every dj has their own "style" of mixing, with programs doing this for you we will lose the originality of djs and is there then a point to have a dj at all (or should we just have a jukebox/computer on the stage?)
thats the one. right there.

although, surely a digital style will exist too. infact, thinking about it... it does.
human interaction is vital
 

Full Lotus

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The question should be, is the dancefloor having it or not?
 

Red five

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Aurora said:
3. Every dj has their own "style" of mixing, with programs doing this for you we will lose the originality of djs ?)
no every dj has their own "style" of tunes that they play...or at least the ones with a rectally inclined head problem do....cos everyone plays the same friggin tunes from their chosen style anyway...be it dark or morning or in between.


and i'm sorry to say it, but i know i couple of pcdj types that batter most other dj's in terms of style and skills.

and as for craetivity? how can you remix tunes on the fly with cd decks?

i reckon people are just getting worried that their time has come....just like those whingers who crap on about vinyl...yes even you tom, you might be me mate, but cheeeeezus H cripes...move with the times.

oh and you can save que points on cdj 1000's and 800's.

they even have a memory card.
 

Niquid

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the diffrence is that you have to know how to mix on cdj's (or Vinyl) and you dont on Tractor. and it sounds shit if you have use the Auto MIx
 

Red five

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Niquid said:
the diffrence is that you have to know how to mix on cdj's (or Vinyl) and you dont on Tractor. and it sounds shit if you have use the Auto MIx
really nick?

you think?

so you dont need to know about what key the tune is in and how many beats per bar etc?

i dont use the auto mix.

you are gonna where a hole in that hat if you keep talking through it.

traktor is just like old school cdj's, the ones without a jog wheel?
 

damion

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what in tintern abbey are you talking about?
it doesn't matter

the only people who care are other DJs


other DJs always thing whoever's playing is shit and doing it wrong. they decided that before they left their house
 

Monkey Do

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QUOTE=lurk]If you have all of this pre-programmed [/QUOTE]

Yeah but you don't, personally all I have "pre-programmed" is a beat map (so that the software knows where the kick is in relation to the waveform) and maybe a couple of label markers reminding me of key sections in the tune.

Can't see that removing any spontaneity.

aurora said:
In my opinion;
1. djing on a computer does not give the same feel for the tracks as on decs
Ok, if you mean the interface doesn't generally have the same feel as mixing with hardware then yes I'll give you that.

2. autobeatmaching, if a dj can't put beats together, maybe this person has no understanding for the tracks and rythm and should maybe not be a dj (when you learn to beatmach you also learn a lot about what tracks goes well together and produces nice mixes)
You'd be suprised what you can learn from looking at the waveform of a track, and I was mixing vinyl for years before switching to software. When you can actually see the track and hear it and have additional information like harmonic keycodes then you'll have a far greater understanding of the technical aspects of beatmixing and how + why certain tracks sound better together than just being able to count to 16 and wait for a drop.

3. Every dj has their own "style" of mixing, with programs doing this for you we will lose the originality of djs and is there then a point to have a dj at all (or should we just have a jukebox/computer on the stage?)
The problem you and lurk seem to have is this assumption that the computer "does it all for you", that you can only mix from a laptop by pre-programming, or that there is only one way of operating each bit of software.

Obviously this is complete rot.
 
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