The world of DJ’s has grown exponentially. Famous DJ’s are becoming pop culture icons and overnight successes daily. There is a great debate about the legitimacy of this new wave of DJ sensations. Arguments about who actually makes the music and where the talent lies can be heard throughout the electronic music community.
One interesting debate I recently overheard at a bar was the argument that using Digital DJ Applications like DJay2 was not real DJ’ing. This is why I thought it would be a good idea to talk about how I came into DJ’ing and why I think those applications are the future of the industry.
The debate lies in the adherence to classic standards for Disc Jockeying that include using Vinyl and other much more manual platforms like CDJ’s along with computer programs like Traktor or Serato. While those programs offer a very robust platform I see them as something that wont be a part of the future of DJ’ing in the traditional sense. The fact is that it’s much easier and more compact to simply bring a small tablet or i pad and any accessories that you enjoy using. Even Traktor has come up with an integrated software application.
How did I get into DJ’ing? I’m actually a classically trained pianist, and signer songwriter. I have been writing music and singing the national anthem for sports teams since I was 17. I have been playing piano since I was 5. So When I started working at 333 recordings with Kevin Griffin, a.k.a DJ Ginzu, I became fascinated with the way he would mix together beats to write to in a minimal amount of time. This was where I really got a feel for matching beats, believe it or not. Ginzu has the innate ability to match by sight. I asked him how he did this so quickly. His reply, “It’s just like DJ’ing.” A lightbulb went off in my head. It sounded easy. Its not, I assure you. It took me a ton of practice to learn the basics of how to successfully mix music, add effects, EQ songs on the fly, match key signatures and the millions of other skills a good DJ has.
Later in the year, we got the opportunity to start a weekly happy hour party at an incredible lower east side spot and I gladly took him up on the offer. Both of us being broke musicians at first we shared Ginzu’s laptop and vinyls to use Serato. I have to admit I liked it. It was a very user friendly program for someone like me, who often records in Logic. But I longed to be able to build my own set lists and really get to practice them before I spun. I did my research and came across Algoriddm’s Djay 2 app. What were the upsides? The biggest one by far was my ability to have access to my Spotify Premium account. I spent nights into mornings going through features, building up my playlists and practicing mixing them on this app. It was actually a very seamless experience. The app has many functions you would find in a traditional set up like EQ and Pitch controls. It also has the ability to help you put together additional que lists on the go with unlimited access to your music library.
So why do I think this is the future of spinning? Because technology shrinks as it becomes more advanced. Just think of cell phones and computers. They have become smaller and more efficient as time has gone on. Apply that to the art of DJ’ing and you can see that a small IPad or tablet with an application loaded on it has the capability to not only help you learn to DJ but to become highly proficient in it. And it fits in your palm.
Many DJ’s argue that sound quality is diminished in a digital format and that Vinyl records hold the highest level of sound quality available. They would be correct. But in my opinion not one patron has ever complained to me about that and I doubt that most average patrons would be able to tell the difference.
I simply enjoy spinning on my Ipad just as much as I enjoy manual mixing and traditional soft ware. Except, only one of those things fits in my purse.
Catch Carolyn Monroe spinning an eclectic mix of old and new music every Friday at Home Sweet Home 131 Chrystie St New York NY.
For information on the application Djay2 click the link here: