Why old-school DJs are complaining and you should too

After a slow and difficult push, the Electronic Dance Music scene is exploding exponentially in the United States. Not long ago DJ’s were confined to dark rooms hidden from view and were looked down upon by most of the music community. Now they are the new rockstars and headliners; main stage and front and center. EDM is now a billion dollar commodity, but that in itself is not such a bad thing. I remember dreaming of the day I could live off of music, that is more possible now than it has ever been.

There are more opportunities to play our music, to get paid, and to make a name for ourselves doing what we love. How can anyone be mad about that? What’s the problem? Well…

Like any industry, when the money starts flowing in it attracts people that are after it as their priority. Add attention and fame to the mix and you can get a pretty nasty breed of person mucking up the works. At one time art and passion for the music was overwhelmingly the motive of DJs and producers (for promoters it is a little more debatable), but now we see more and more that money, fame, and less than admirable intentions are what drive a lot of people to our EDM world. The balance is shifting and the art of the music and the dance floor are suffering as a result.

Beat matching tech, gimmicks, and reliance on playing popular music have become the common definition of what a DJ does. It is no wonder that this seems like an easy source of money and fame. The truth of the matter is that these qualities are irrelevant to the art of the mix and in what makes a DJ worth seeing and worth the ticket price. To better understand, let’s take a look at some of the bigger complaints coming from the old-school and why the new-school should care.

David Guetta and Swedish House Mafia

It doesn’t take much digging to find out how old-school head DJ Sneak feels about these guys. He’s called them out for their showmanship antics, elaborate stage setups, and more importantly, for getting caught playing pre-produced sets and not actually DJing during their shows.

First of all it is important to separate the concept of DJ from producer, they are not the same thing. While I applaud these guys for their production skills and developing an accessible sound that attracts lots of people, this does not mean they have the right to charge massive amounts of money to see them press play while they jump around. This would be like paying ridiculous sums to James Cameron to jump around on stage while watching Avatar (actually maybe I would pay to see that). Seriously though, producers either need to put on a live show like Orbital, Daft Punk, Chuck Love, etc., or develop actual DJ skills before they step on stage. Unless, of course, you like paying a premium for gimmicks instead of music and talent.

**Disclaimer – I have seen Steve Angello of the Swedish House Mafia on his own play a great 8 hour set and actually mix, so I know he is at least capable, again it’s about what you are paying to see, demand more. I also know playing pre-recorded sets is nothing new and has been a ‘necessity’ now and then for DJ’s playing nightly on tour (not that I approve), but to use this as a default is unacceptable.

DJ X Factor

Now, in all fairness the verdict is still out on this one as we don’t really have all the details or what the contestants will be judged on, but based on Simon Cowell’s propensity to monetize talent it’s likely this show will do more damage than good. It will further push and expose people to the idea that DJing is more about the show than it is about the music and the art. At one point DJing was about bringing new sounds to the floor and making them hits, now DJ’s play the popular tracks to make themselves hits. They are glorified jukeboxes in fancy packaging with laser shows, not artists.

Just to be clear, I am not anti-showmanship. It’s all part of the bigger artistic package when done correctly, but there has to be art at the core. I am anti-showmanship to cover up a lack of talent. Hopefully this show won’t support that, but I am skeptical. We’ll have a better idea when the judges are selected.

Paris Hilton

I will try to keep the vulgarity to a minimum on this one. Remember not long ago when there was a bit of a scuffle with Paris and a certain house DJ because he wouldn’t play a hip-hop song? Remember all those top-40/hip-hop clubs she was frequenting (even when she wasn’t being paid to be there)? Remember how she has never once mentioned or was seen at any house related event until recent press surrounding her new publicity ploy boyfriend Afrojack? Now all of a sudden house music has always been a passion of hers? What does Paris Hilton and a cow’s colon have in common?

This is the epitome of jumping on the decks for the money and the fame bandwagon. Everything she has done to date has been because she saw it as popular and a way to be famous for the sake of being famous. Do we really expect to believe that passion and art will play any part in this catastrophe in the making? At least I have a new term to call people who aren’t DJing for passion and art. Paris Hiltons. Don’t be a Paris Hilton.

The Point

For all you music consumers out there, I appreciate you, I really do. I just want you to be an educated consumer. Know what it is your hard earned dollars are supporting. Be patrons of art, not ATMs for the money hungry.

You would be DJs, producers and promoters: Create art, don’t just press start. Contribute something to the world and to the people, don’t just look to take their money and attention. Let’s be amazing together.

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322 thoughts on “Why old-school DJs are complaining and you should too

  1. Very well said and could not agree more. This is what the true skool dj has to deal with these days. I understand the digital thing but not the lack of real skills that so many new skool cats have these days. Sad is what it is.

    PEACE LUV & FUNKINESS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. The First Rap Record

    ****************

    The First Rap Record? I can recall way,way back before they even had MySpace…(Or maybe internet?…lol) It was before many of the DJ’s I know today were even born. Before exstacy, before raves, before glowsticks. “Superstar DJ’s”…

    I was DJ’ing in a club… It was in the 70’s in NYC…before Frankie Bones even (Yes, doing Disco of all things!) Hey, it paid well!

    So anyway, I was DJ’ing in this club, it was nice and cushy…I had an apartment right next to the club… (Talk about after-hours! I always had some gal knocking on my door at 4 or 5 in the morning) The club owners liked me and used to give me bottles of Amarretto di Saronno, cause they knew I liked it.

    I was hooked up with IDC…

    (International Disco Corporation) and they would send me free promo albums and EP’s every week. (You just had to have a letterhead from the club owners proving you worked as a DJ for them) I had all kinds of disco albums. Crates and crates of albums. In fact, I used to have these two guys come to my apartment before I was going to the club so they could help me carry them.

    In those days….it wasn’t many DJ’s spinning for maybe an hour each.

    I was spinning straight from 9:00pm all the way until 4 in the morning. No breaks. No ther DJ’z. No laptopz. No CDJ’z. Straight vinyl.

    I had all that old disco stuff… You name it…

    Gloria Gaynor,The Village People,Cerrone, (An awezome disco drummer with pounding beats… Check it on You-Tube, he’s there) I also had Donna Summer,Earth, Wing and Fire, The Trammps,B-52’s,Blondie,Vicki Sue Robinson, The Gap Band,oh you know…all the artists of the time.

    (I used to have the place hopping because I played disco, and rock and roll, and even threw in some latin!)

    Anyway…

    So one day….they come up to me with an LP in a brown paper wrapper like it was porno or something… I ripped it open and what did I see?

    One of the first Rap records… “Rappers Delight” by The Sugar Hill Gang.

    (One of the first, not THE First) I was like…”What’s This?”

    My friend said, “It’s Rap music…the latest thing. So I popped it on the turntables (Technics…I only used Technics)

    and spun some Rappers Delight that Friday night. I was never, ever prepared for the explosion that followed… Of course there were other “bootleg” albums from other rappers that were actually around first…which some people don’t know.

    Such as GrandMaster Flash and Melle Mel, and everyone knows when Blondie came out with “Rapture”.

    However, Some of the REAL Godfathers of Hip-Hop are known to only but a few afficionados of music. (All types of music, not just one).

    “Kool DJ Herc, the godfather of hip-hop, was a Jamaican-born DJ who moved to the Bronx in 1967. With his unique playlist of R&B,soul,funk, and obscure disco, Herc quickly became the catalyst of the hip-hop way of life. The kids from the Bronx and Harlem loved his ghetto style, which gave birth to the concept of the B-Boy. The B-Boy — or beat boy, break boy, Bronx boy — loved the breaks of Kool Herc, and as a result soon created break dancing. These were the people of the hip-hop culture.

    While Pete DJ Jones was #1 for the black disco crowd in NYC, Herc and the B-Boys were the essence of the hip-hop movement, because of they lived the lifestyle. The way they danced, dressed, walked, and talked was unique, as opposed to most of the disco artists and fans of the time, who were not as in touch with the urban streets of America.”… Taken from “A History of Rap and Hip-Hop”

    http://www.jahsonic.com/Rap.html *************************

    After that, the people couldn’t get enough of rap. Soon after that came GrandMaster Flash and The Furious Five, Kurtis Blow,and a host of others… It was right around this time that I heard some Jimi Hendrix.

    Then it was over for me. I started playing guitar and doing rock and roll and blues.

    Only recently had I begun to go back into dance and psytrance/techno, thanks mostly to my buddy,Christopher Peter Vanderessen. We were also in a band together called Tryptamine with Eric Vanderveer on drums. (Great drummer!) I alzo sang in two other bandz, a Jimi Hendrix cover band called…”Noyz-R-Us” (a name I made up taken from the toy company) and also an original progressive rock band called Messiah….(The lead lyricist waz a pagan Warlock).
    Nowadayz, I play guitar with DJ’z…which iz a whole nothetr trip….lol
    But yeah, I’ve been doing this stuff for yearz and yearz….according to what zome…
    zo called “Superstar/DJ’z/Producerz” get paid today….I should be a millionaire many timez over!…lol)

    Kind of funny because Skrillex waz born on January 15, 1988…I waz DJ’ing almozt 20 yearz before he waz born!…..lol

    ‎……that meanz I started DJ’ing….ummmm…almozt 40 years ago.

    So anyway, when I see some young rappers and DJ’s today, 17 or 18 years old…. I have to smile because they weren’t even a twinkle in their Daddy’s eye when I was spinnin’ the first vinyl disco and Rap Records.

    But hey…Spin on! Mad Love….PLUR

    Peace

    { o}=====>

    Cazzy

    The Alien Bluez Dude

    • Big Respect for this mini history. it’s good to know that people like yourself are keeping the New School informed of the True history of DJ Culture that mainstream media has lost touch with. I started playing records at 5,6 yrs. old using my fathers collection by the time I was 9 I DJ’ed for an Adult crowd! (Surprise B Day party for my Moms) That was 1976. I came up when turntables had no pitch control you just had to know how to let the records flow. I watched the music evolve from Disco to House then Techno. Bebop and jazz to Hip Hop and Rap. No BPM, No Synch, No Mouse, Hands on Hardware and Crates not MP3’s
      Back in the days DJ ing kept u in shape “You had to carry coffins and grates speakers, amps, fog machines, ect. However I can hate on this new thing of showing up with your laptop and your virtual DJ program, it let’s you travel light however I’m glad I came up the Old way because now I get the best of both worlds.I did that and still can and now I do this too…All that is NEW. Up and coming DJ’s i hope to inspire you to know your history it paved the way for you to exist to see what ever you have in the vicinity of your DJ ability.
      Respect the culture and in 20 yrs from now teach the same thing to the Next generation.
      Peace to all of you and the Alien Bluez Dude!- one Love -DJ MR SWOTCH- formerly of The Panik System 90.7 WFUV Fordham University Radio. Coming soon to a MIX CLOUD near you. – Get ya tools of the trade and get busy!- Peace!
      contact: djmrswotch@gmail.com or Tw: @rmdowarts1 Mixcloud.com/djmrswotch
      New Tracks coming soon! Soundcloud.com/djmrswotch
      Beatport.com/djmrswotch

    • Technics (if you’re speaking of the SL1200) did n’t exist in those day’s Cazzy…
      Dual or the Lenco L75 where standard …
      Remember Kurtis Blow and Joe Bataan, just before or just after Sugar Hill Gang.
      Don’t recall if 10cc Dreadlocks Holiday was older or not, which is basicly a rap song too.
      my 2 cents :-)

      • exactly my thoughts on that post. glad to know im not the only one here. the only history i can read is an extracted article of 12 lines. whats your life history got to do with nu-school djs complicating the industry.

    • your mad cause you were makin pocket change when djs now make real money , learn how to become a business man and promote yourself. thats what it takes to make it these days , you should of learned that 40 years ago gramps, times are changing the people who complain ( like you) fall behind, the people that adjust and change with the times make money.

      • You’re kidding, right? did you even read the effing article? People with your attitude are what the author of this article is talking about. You’re absolutely right, times have changed, and for the worse. Djing, real djing is an art, and requires skill. But people who have no talent or desire to learn and who happen to know how to feed others bs are those that are making money. These people have bastardized an art form and make money gimmicks and image projection. I’ve been a dj for almost 25 years myself, and I happen to have an audience who comes out to hear what I play and how I play it, not because I know howto fist pump while wearing headphones. You got some growing up to do son.

      • That’s not the point of what he’s saying though is it. The point is, he had a laugh doing what he was doing, he got paid enough to get by and back then no one could’ve foreseen that in 30-40 years time, DJ’s would be these massive money making celebrities causing this debate- to be honest though, in my life time (30 years) DJ’s have always been on a fair screw, depending on what side of ‘popular’ their musical tastes fell on. Contrary to public opinion, no matter how rich or poor you are, not everything is done solely for the money. If you get paid for doing the things you love, well thats just icing on the cake. The moment anyone starts making some serious dosh, they’re disconnected from the average person whether they like it or not. That goes for every money making industry. I’m not saying colossal money making is a bad thing either- it’s a necessary evil, I just think it’s sad that that’s ALL you think life should be about. Half the shit we buy into these days; your ipods, flat screen tellies, super star DJ’s… etc, they all came from humble beginnings. No one creates anything worthwhile whilst thinking solely of the money (the keyword there is ‘worthwhile’- there’s alot of ‘solely’ money making bollocks in this world that we could all do without!). It’s only when the fat-arse business man that comes in after the hard work is done to exploit the idea that serious money gets made. So before you slag off the ‘pocket change’ DJ, spare a thought for the fact that your beloved ‘business man’ DJ probably wouldn’t be around today without him/her. Also, times aren’t changing at all really, it’s only ever been about money making and always will be. But money making ALONE never drives things forward, is the point I’m trying to make.

        Back to the main debate:
        In all honesty though, this whole debate about old school and new school DJ’s bemuses me. It’s like good and bad, one can’t exist without the other or at least one can’t push itself further without the other. Old school DJ’s should see this as a challenge and up their game a bit or just accept that people who like underground stuff will always hunt down underground things and those who like pop stuff… you get the idea. ‘Popular’ is defined as a majority percentage of likes to dislikes, that’s how life works and this is how the present super star DJ works. In 40 years, this form of DJ will be old hat, the pre pubescent kids of the time will slag them off and anyone from this era who liked them. And when that ignorant, pre pubescent (and we all were one of those at one point in our lives!) grows up, they’ll realise how much of a dick they were and just embrace the ‘old’ with the ‘new’ and the ‘not quite invented yet’. You can’t get to point B without starting at point A. Everything is linked somehow.

        Let this DJ debate be a lesson in life; things get repackaged, but the idea’s still the same. And at the end of all things, does it really matter! Like what YOU like and get on with it!

      • You’re an idiot Mr. SImpson.
        It’s ‘you are’ or ‘you’re’. If ‘you’re’ going to comment, please try and spell words correctly. I’m 41 years old and propbably more hip on the house music scene than most 20 somethings. It’s not about the $$, it’s about creativity and passion. And as far as becoming a business man, I think I have that covered with my day job as a VP of a Fortune 50 company.

      • so by promote yourself you mean, talk shit, lie, and pretend to be something your not? that shit is whats wrong with this world and the djing scene and this whole thing was written about people like you because you think this way

      • Some people happen to value music and art more than money and fame, clearly you d’ont understand that.

      • Thankz Mark. Nope not mad. I’m Buddhist so i don’t get mad…..lol….
        Thankz for calling me Gramps though….lol made me smile.

        By the way, nowadays….I play guitar with DJ’z. So there. Gramps….lol
        Oh yez…I wazn’t complaining at all. Juzt stating the facts. That’s how it waz when everyone started DJ’ing. Sorry. I can’t change history and I didn’t make it.

        You have a nice day though…..

        Peace.

    • Wow…so your like 60 years old and you still haven’t figured out this thing called spelling? lol – Nonetheless I still have mad respect for the grandfathers of dance. I’ve been in the EDM “scene” since ’97 and I am happy and proud to see that it has exploded, but equally annoyed with the use of showmanship to cover up lack of talent.

      • You have to learn to spell “you’re” before you can criticise anyone else’s spelling.

    • OMG ! , that brought back memories.
      And I do miss the promo 12 inchers.
      I don’t see too many great DJs anymore,
      they don’t have the art to know what keeps the people dancing and drinking.
      And to keep the floor packed !
      Maybe it was because I was a dancer too,
      that made me a popular DJ,
      I would throw on a long song (Santa Esmeralda)
      and then throw down on the floor.
      And when I was in the mood to destroy (LOL)
      my crowd, I would turn out a 45 minute version of a popular song,
      mixing it back and forth for the whole 45 minutes ( Celebration and We Are Family were fun ones)
      Then I would break into 2 slow songs so the guys could polish their belt buckles.
      My BIGGEST complaint and I hear it from others as well as club employees,
      the damn Music is too LOUD !
      You can’t even talk anymore.

      • If you want to hold a serious conversation go to ambientish lo-key bar or something. Not a DANCE club. DUH. qiut yer bitchin…

    • thats all tight but just because you only spin venal, doesn’t make you a legend. sure its definently still sick that you keeping it alive. but using cd’s or a usb on cdjs isn’t making the job any easier. (well yea the usb is but only because it makes your library that much more accessible, but it 2012. WE CAN FUCKING CLONE FOOOLS!

    • I think I love you. “PLUR” you’re speaking my language! I spun a little rave-y stuff in my student radio days and was big in the rave scene in the early 90’s. I did a lot of research (pre-Internet mind you) and learned a lot about DJing and disco in the 70s. It’s so great to hear your personal story — a DJ original and hero :)

  3. I’m reading this article and it feels like I’m reading the thoughts in my head. I may only be 20 years old, but I love DJ’ing and I know I’m not in it for the money and the fame, unlike a lot of jackasses. Great article my friend.

  4. Meh. Boring. Sure this is all terrible, but nothing is gonna stop it. We have to just accept stupid reality TV shows like “DJ X Factor” will come about but do our best to ignore it.

  5. Its sucks. People in my town wont bother listening to Drum n bass, or dubstep, glitch. well my generation anyhow. I mix vinyls, and even though they all listen to the “big names” who produce tunes with mainstream artists, They wouldn’t know what a mixer does. Big up for the post, Was a awesome read.

  6. I COMPLETELY agree with this article. I’ve been DJing for over 10 years now, starting off with actual vinyl and learning everything the hard way. While new technology now has made it much simple to beat match and get a flawless mix, people just seem to play one song after another. I remember spending hours and hours digging through my crates to find the right group of records I could play together. Hell, now there is even a program that can find out the key for any song in a matter of seconds!!

    While all of this is great, it seems to be undermining all the hard efforts of us old school dj’s put into our craft… If you listen to many of the newer mixes that is out, there is no progression/story in the 1 hour sets these DJ’s slap together…

    Needless to say, I am glad for all this new technology. Now I do not need to spend hours and hours trying to figure out which records go together, but already have a bank to work off with. Given things are so simple now, I actually spend the new extra time – from not figuring out everything myself – really perfecting and finding songs that complement each other, not only melodically but also stylistically.

    To all the newbie DJs out there: Guys, its not just about pressing play… Thanks for reading.

    • You don’t really sound as an old school dj, man….
      Dj-ying is a form of jazz, and jazz is about impovisation…. feeling your own emotions and, through your mixing skill and music culture, transmitt them to the crowd. It’s a state of mind.
      Dj-ying is most of all about culture. And your comment sucks, srry to say!

      Peace

      • Exactly Fabio….When I first got into DJing, I couldn’t stop finding the similarities between the Jazz movement and the DJ movement. Improvisation was at its core. To a greater extent turntablist like cut chemist, numark, triangle, ect using the turntable to as an instrument but also the house DJs mixing, blending, effecting, beatmatching, tweaking the music to control the highs and lows in a room.

        Now the digital movement in DJ and production equipment allowed access to more people. Companies made the equipment easier to use and most importantly cheaper allowing more people access. Digital files are way cheaper than vinyl. This has caused more people to get into DJing and now they don’t need the talent they once did. This has caused a bigger segment of the listeners to get into the popular side of the music. The DJs have become glorified cheerleaders and most, if not all, of the artistry is gone from their performance.

    • let me just say this, i’ve been djing since ’83. i’ve used 1200s, cds, ipods and now my mac. i dj because it’s my passion, not because of money. using 1200s meant carrying 1200s, mixer, speakers, amps, crates, sometimes tape decks, in my opinion, too much stuff. then there was cds, i had an all in one device (in other words, cd players and mixer in one)also carrying 4 cd books, then powered speakers (i love them), a lighter load. then i had a device that uses an ipod to mix with (smaller than my all in one cd player). now my mac (i use my numark mixdeck) so now all i carry is my numark mixdeck, powered speakers. i use my mixdeck because of convience, I DON’T USE THE SYNC BUTTON. i use it to mix. i’m an old school dj who just adapted. does that me a bad dj, no. one thing i hate about these new school djs is they feel the need to mix a new song every minute. i don’t see the point in that, u should let songs play so people can get into them. everytime u switch, u disrupt the flow. as far as me djing, all i did is went with the new technology. there’s nothing wrong with that. i’m an old school dj in my heart. now the dj culture right now really sucks because there are too many djs out there and because of software and auto-sync, alot of lounges are using it and eliminating us djs so the payrate is low. also too many young djs are djing for peanuts so another reason why the payrate is low (i’m talking about new york). it’s bad for djs now. i just keep trying to get my name out there.

      • Amen. Why would you want to carry around a whole truck full of equipment with you when you can do the same thing, and more with a portable laptop or just a hard drive and usb. Yes math was very hard a long time ago before calculators, Communication was hard before phones, and djing is getting easier because of technology. Why would you want to do things the hard way?

        I do disagree about the auto sync, I see nothing wrong with using it as well and it frees you up to do other things. Again whats the benefit in doing things the hard way and increasing you chance of mistakes?

        A lot of this sounds like – when i was your age I had to walk 5 miles to school in the snow with no shoes… Well now I have shoes and a car so why would I do that?

        In My opionion djing is about controlling the crowd and the party, and also breaking new music and putiing people on to up and comers. How you do that doesn’t matter.

  7. It seems to me that if there really is a great deal of craft and artistic sensibility required to be a DJ, then: firstly, it wouldn’t be possible for an individual without a developed craft and artistic sensibility to convincingly dj a set demonstrating those qualities; and secondly, if it is possible for anyone to play a convincing dj set, then this conversation is really one of musical taste and subculture cache as much or even more than one of creative “integrity” or actual skill.

    • Again, part of what is at issue is what people are paying for, if people are paying for a live DJ set, that’s what they should get. How do they even know what they are hearing was created by the artist standing behind the decks. The choice is the consumers, but they should be educated in what they are consuming and supporting.

    • Now days anybody with a laptop can be a DJ.. Technology has made it possible to download a program, set a playlist, and just beatmatch… Beatmatching requires no skill, just the ability to read a number and click a button. Therefore what was once an art form has become about showmanship and profitability.

      • well said, put some of these laptop dj’s behind dex or just cdj’s and a mixer and watch them fall back down to earth

      • you still have to mix on song structure or it will sound like sh!t. I’ve seen many cpu dj’s mix off structure and I’ve seen many mix on structure.

  8. How about an objective story with some depth to it, instead of a stream of consciousness whine fest? Quotes? Interviews? The majority does not give a shit about Paris Hilton’s publicity stunts, or most of the mainstream observations here, and publishing a post about those subjects is just added attention, which quite contradicts your whole purpose here. Thanks for repeating the same rant that’s been on loop for the past year. Cheers.

    • Is there another way to help educate consumers without bringing up the issues that exemplify problems in a system they are funding? There is nothing wrong with encouraging people to be aware of what they are spending their money on. Ultimately the choice is theirs, but it should be an educated choice at least.

    • you tit mate! can you not observe and appreciate the point without trying to create your own, more observant point about it? clearly got no idea what your talkin about. good article tho, sean-ray

    • Of course the “majority” gives a shit about what Paris Hilton does! I’m not saying it’s a good thing, but if the majority didn’t care, it wouldn’t get the press it does. Meanwhile truly great DJs, people who put their heart and soul into it and who turn a night out into a cathartic experience, those guys often never get mentioned in the mainstream press. Why is this significant? Because of hardcore economics. Media = money oftentimes and so rather than people being turned on to some truly talented individuals, they get turned on to weak minded BS and assume that represents what we all are. So a contradictory statement, a post that seeks to set the record straight, is always a good thing.

  9. yeah, thats the problem now with new dj’s, its the mac that dj not them, they couldnt beat match not even their brains. Look at Paris Hilton for xample; now suddenly she wants to be a dj, like its something from yesterday to 2day, what does she know about being dj? Didnt she know that uve to start carrying u records & go to a records shop to find ur records part of the procedure is? Problem with all there young genarations of COMPUTER DJ’S are; they CAN’T even dj properly, beat match neighter, and they think thats what djs is about. Another thing with these IDIOTS =They really think that being on da drugz is kool, ill say if u wanna be a dj, learn to dj(beat match) first b4 u think uve the right to carry the tittle of DJ. And its not about the booze and the drugz that make u a good dj, its about the VIBE that u create. Thank so much to the old genaration of DJ’S that make it possible that 2day we can njoy the DJ. PEACE & BLESSINGS<3

    • personally i say learn the history of dance music first, knowledge is key to dj’ing….beat matching is second.

      i have seen plenty of technically gifted dj’s who tunes are utter rank….

  10. why’re you talking bad things about hip hop?? do u know what’s REAL HIP HOP?? and what are the bases of house music?? hip hop isn’t the same as gansta rap¡¡ may be you’re tañlking about gansta rap.. be carefull when you’re talking about hip hop if you don’t know anything.. i like hip hop and i can show you that house has hip hop bases.. but REAL HIP HOP not gansta rap.. and when you’re talking about hip hop you’re talking about 4 elements, hip hop isn’t only music.

    • Hey dumbass, “gangsta rap” IS hip hop. “real hip hop” would also be just a sub-genre of Hip Hop (if that were an actual sub-genre of music lol)

      Rap, or, Rapping, is something an MC does on a Hip Hop beat (or wtv else style for that matter).

  11. BACKWARDS. I loved reading this article…DJ’s are completely outta touch with what people actually wanna hear! Vinyl!?!! Really?!? Listen. That likes your Mom and Dad telling you dial up is the thing! Get over it! Get rid of your vinyl and start downloading some real stuff and…YEP I mean the stuff them play on the radio…….Hey if you have an ego please avoid this POST…cause it’s going sting.

    • lol, ignorant as fuck. at least people who play vinyl support artists by buying their music, instead of just pirating it.

    • Wow..how ’bout showing a bit of respect to those that came before you? You, I presume, since you have the letters “DJ” next to your name, probably got started because YOU heard someone spin that you were impressed with…someone who in all likelihood worked with vinyl at some point. To call yourself a DJ and not at least have a rudimentary understanding of the background of your avocation is flat out ignorant..but good luck with that…

      • Dumb ass motherucker calling out radio tunes as if that’s MUSIC. The matter doesn’t lie in the vinyl of mp3 debate, not anymore. It’s about real music made first and foremost by people who want to get an emotion across, not some bullshit Rihana song over a 4/4 beat. You my friend are the kind of person who made this world what it is today. Asshole.

  12. evolution in all forms of music is going to upset the originators, look how original punk felt when Never Mind came out by Nirvana completely ripping off the name Never Mind the bollocks, and they made fortune off of it.

    Guns & Roses safely playing music that 20 years earlier bands were being arrested for doing what they did. If you listen to the vocal style of Led Zepplin and then Guns & Roses you will understand what I mean.

    so the same thing is happening with House & Techno, i certainly noticed the change 12 years ago when I was DJing house music and the punters on the dance floor were more into silly electro house. of course in my opinion its a shame, its a shame because a lot of the original musicians were always pushing new boundaries in sounds and expression, and just like Guns & Roses or Nirvana, todays artists have worked out what sells and what needs to be done to make money.

    • You’re an idiot. Every artist draws influence from something. Even Led Zepplin took riffs from folk/blues artists, some songs were complete rip offs. Nirvana never did it for the money, why do you think Kurt blew his brains out. Kurt even admitted in interviews that he ripped off other bands for example the riff in Come as you are was from Killing joke – eighties (you can watch it on youtube). That’s a real link between old and new music, not your dumb example about the album title or weak link between led zepplin and guns and rose’s brand of crap rock. You should realize that all artists did it, just some do it way better than others and actually contribute to music. So I don’t think we should slag on bands you don’t like and judge them all on an individual basis because they all borrow from somewhere.

    • I sold my vinyl equipment after two years to convert to digital. But I completely agree. Skipping straight to digital is just like building a house from the second floor up. Somethings about digital still bother me, like the fact that I have to program ALL of my tracks(I use Ableton) instead of going on the fly—as easy as it is, this actually bugs me. It’s like playing Sudoku on level HARD and then switching down to Medium.There’s a mental process about beat matching on your own, and throwing in a random track from the crate(and only having 30 seconds to cue it) that’s just magical. You can’t really do that with these DJ controllers. Once I save money, I’ll def switch back to vinyl.

    • INDEED! I’m not a youngster anymore, but right now I’m attending an actual SCHOOL learning to DJ from jocks who were exclusively vinyl. Their old crates are even sitting around in the main classroom. *grins* They teach the HISTORY of this whole thing, including the history of all the various genres of EDM. They teach on how to DIG for great tunes. They LOVE to teach, they LOVE what they do and they LOVE people. They’re wonderful, humble folks and I appreciate them for taking time with me. Somehow, I still hold out hope for this “industry”. As long as there are DJs and producers like many of you guys here who REALLY care, things will be just fine. Keep rockin’ and KEEP doing what you do. The audience IS listening. Peace.

  13. One of the funniest moments i remember from going to raves was when DJ Funk played his recorded set from the night before, and it had an MC yelling “what up Chi-town?” and getting the crowd to yell and the show was in milwaukee or racine, it was funny too cuz he was just drinking and playing with the mixer to make it look like he was doing something, but u could obviously tell if u were paying attention and knew how to mix. I see the new technology as a blessing and a curse, there are a lot more possibilities available with beat-sync and samplers on mixers and the whole digital dj, but there ARE way too many people doing it for the wrong reasons now and it just brings down the integrity of the whole scene. I have been playing for about 15 years and was outta the scene for about 4 years and came back in the last 2 and i have seen some djs use the sync and sampling to do things that just werent possible with vinyl and a mixer, that i can appreciate, but kids who have no talent and buy the most commercially popular tracks and just use beatsync to sound good and be popular with the crowd who really knows nothing of what edm was and can be is a disgrace! edm has constantly been evolving and pushing boundaries but the djs playing pop commercial crap are just gonna make the scene stale and slow down the progression and give more credence to the naysayers who say ” whats so special about someone playing someone else’s songs all night” which is basically what their doing. Not making each track their own and building a set into an epic story or theme and creating a vibe. thats my 2cents, I miss the dj’s who fed off the crowd, who made white label promos into massive underground hits, that told epic stories with the progression of their track selection throughout their time slots. That was what made the “scene” so special

    • Amen brother!

      For me, it’s always been about reading the crowd and picking the right track for ‘now’ – feeding off the vibe and energy in the room to determine your next selection. I’ve even seen a dj with only 1 deck, a delay box and a mic keep a dancefloor packed all night!

      I think beatmatching is what is expected but track selection is what makes it special.

      I’ve nothing against new technology being implemented but it just needs to be utilised properly – not just pressing autosync n then making something sound terrible by being too ‘creative’.

      Also, there’s never any excuse for playing a pre-recorded set EVER. If the dj’s tired or whatever, then they need to get a job in a library instead!

  14. Well said, but the David Guetta / SHM pre-mix thing I don’t buy. People don’t really come to see you mix, they only think they do. They don’t really go to see Lady Gaga sing while dancing or Penn and Teller really do magic. They come for a show. They only THINK they’re let down by pre-recorded sets. If they went back into the history of show business, they’d see it’s gotta be close to 75% pre-recorded “live” stuff, and nobody ever knew.

    Its very difficult to ensure that “live” sounds good, especially while jumping up and down on the decks, just ask Girltalk. Now sitting very quietly behind a couple of decks with a computer, a spare pc running simultaneously in case of failure, and with a small rack of gear to prevent overmodulation and other issues, sure you can produce a great sounding “live” set…but that’s not a performance is it? And it sure ain’t “Show Biz.”

    Not saying it can’t be done, just saying it doesn’t matter.

  15. Coming from the old school, I seen the evolution of technology the makes the DJing experience more diverse that we would have dreamed of back in the old days. Yes most of the new DJs are learning on the new technologies, which is different than what we learned on, but it is what is available in this era. I am sure the that bands from the 70s and 80s thought of us DJs in the same way we are thinking of our own kind…DJs, because turntables and a mixers were not considered instruments back in that era, and today, some see as this new technology as not being “real”. One thing I can tell you, it is as real as it gets, and if you embrace it, it can be fun and open new opportunities of creativity.

    What we as old timer have to take away from this is that we did everything in our existence to get it known that a DJ is a very talented individual. That should be a positive thing. DJs have come a long way because of our pioneering efforts. I have seen many new era bands have a DJ setup as part of one of the instruments. That would have been unheard of back in the 80s and early 90s.

    What I do not agree with is the “Hiltonizing” of the talent. That in every way is wrong, but don’t let that bad apple spoil you love for the talent, and keep people dancing. That is what we are here for.

    • Honestly, I live in an area where clubs hire “DJs” that show up with their laptop and learned how to set ITunes to crossfade. I can’t get a gig because these guys play for free drinks. And club owners don’t know the difference. So this whole debate seems kind of trivial to me. I do use a laptop on stage, but I’m running Ableton or Traktor with some $1500 bucks worth of gear. Not virtual DJ on autoplay.

  16. This article is ON POINT!!! I’ve been DJing since ’75, an the DJ would be plying music that the radio would play 6-7 months later. Now DJ just play what they hear on the radio and not “BREAK” new music. Long live REAL DJ’s!!!

    • well clearly you go and see the wrong DJ’s then…!!

      playing music that is on the radio means you are referring to DJ’s who play commercial tunes.

      most of the house music i play is sent to me a couple of month before release. believe it or not there is still DJ’s that have just started who are just as passionate about vinyl and the underground scene as you guys who have been around longer, so it not fair to tar us all with the same brush

    • Well ive done the opposite, and stopped buying music and going back to my music ive collected over the last 10 – 15 years and when i play, im bringing back the grooves i grew up on and kinda educating what real house and techno used to be. The production today i feel all sounds the same and there is way too much of it. Everyone is producing tracks now and its saturating the industry. Bring back some oldies and re educate. ill bring out a gem from years ago i have totally forgotten about and ill stand there and just be mesmerized on how incredibility awesome it is! and the kids love it too.

  17. Pingback: A new take on Turntables vs CDJs «

  18. Great read! I do the best I can to keep true to being a DJ by practicing my scratching, juggling, pretty much all things turntablism.

    I have a video that I’m trying to pass along to fellow DJs in hops of inspiring them to creating their own sets with cuts and word play.

    just search “spin master j music palooza” on youtube. Hope you guys enjoy!

      • Efren and Crazy …. Well said. I’ve been invited to play this weekend at some super-club. When I called them to find out what genre they want me to play and if they have turntables and CD decks installed. Shockingly they told me to bring my laptop. WTF

  19. RE: DJ Idol

    Has Dancing on Ice, Strictly Ballroom, Dance on Ice Balls, Ice Dancing Factor been bad for the dancing industry?

    Has X-Factor, …got talent, Fame academy, pop adademy , pop idol, the voice been good or bad for the idustry around singing?

    Will DJ Factor be good or bad for the nightclub/DJ industry?
    Will DJ Factor in anyway effect the underground dance scene?

  20. DJ’s are not artists. They’re DJ’s. ‘Electronic music explosion? ugh. Pots, pans, beats, noise and drugs. Some culture. May it devour itself as soon as possible.

    • You should differentiate between the different scenes in EDM, esp. IDM, and that (probably especially) in a geographic manner. I suppose you’re American, over here in Germany electronic music is much more than what you reduce it to. It’s enough of a lifestyle of its own to make me lack the ability to describe it. Or rather, it’s a lack of “lifestyle” in its popular definition, meaning the abscence of constraints – be it related to fashion, mindset, politics or whatever you like. All there is is tolerance, passion for that very special type of music and the common will of having a great time. You may refuse to call that culture, I’m okay with that, but for me, it is.

  21. It is what it is! I produce and remix music because I love the art and because I strive to work with true talented artists and producers.I know that I’ve been loyal all my life to the underground house scene and it does bother me a little but it’s a new generation and it’s up to them to learn what true talent is.If Paris Hilton or anybody in that caliber wants to DJ ,go ahead,I just hope nothing teqhnical happens because it would be embarrassing,lol Let’s Educate are listeners one by one do they can sniff out the fakes! Lol

  22. The number of DJ’s who are ALLOWED to be artistic, original and generally all about themselves are in a seriously small niche market, most DJ’s simply have to reflect the taste of those in the room because the people will not take the DJ for a “leader” unless that DJ has a name and is playing an event.

    I don’t believe any resident DJ in the world only wants to play top 40 hits, even the most commercial of DJ’s likes to slip in a few unknowns here and there.

    For most DJ’s it’s comply or die, if you’re not going to read the crowd and play the hits they want we’ll simply hire someone who will.

    A lot of people here are contradicting themselves too. One minute they’re going into detail about all the things a DJ should be doing in order to be original, creative, unique and skilled, and then they take the populous view on digital gear (BPM’s, sync etc) as if the fact that beatmatching today is a quick and easy process (on all digital gear) is killing the art! How can it be art if it’s simply about getting two tracks in sync/phase? You can throw two tracks into your multi-track sequencer and sync them instantly does that mean you can be a top mashup/remix artist? Of course not, before anyone can preach on the subject of the “modern DJ” they first must learn the definition of what makes someone a good DJ, then they’ll learn that the new generation of non turntablist DJ’s (including Serato users btw) aren’t in anyway a threat on the merits of the technology alone.

    In the end most people would prefer a DJ that plays for them than a DJ that plays for themselves and they couldn’t care less about the means used to achieve this, but even in the realm of being a crowd pleasing digital DJ there is great room to inject creativity and flare.

    DJ’s need to quit hating on other DJ’s simply because their rivals have different aspirations or don’t subscribe to the same technology.

    • Looks like he has the come-down’s pretty bad. I gotta hand it to him, he does a pretty good job of feigning enthusiasm.

  23. Jesus Christ, some of these comments make me ashamed to be a dj. I’ve been playing for 20 years now and I hope I never sound as pretentious or idiotic as some of you. It’s playing other peoples music in a pleasing way ffs, it’s not anything that important. Don’t get me wrong, I love it like nothing else and I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t buy tunes and play out, but does it really deserve a thousand shitty blog entries whining like little bitches about shit djs and acts that no one who is actually into the music gives a fuck about anyway?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturgeon's_Law <- There's some reading for you all, once you accept that into your lives you'll be happier.

    And as for the hate on technology you all just sound like the people shouting 'judas' at Bob Dylan for playing electric guitar in the 60s, history will make you look stupid.

  24. Hey everyone i have a suggestion, let’s all whine a little bit! I also included some tips on happiness in the bottom of this post

    Here’s some suggestions on what to whine on!

    Let’s whine about our scene is getting more and more followers than ever
    Let’s whine about Swedish House Mafia helping out EVERYONE
    Let’s whine about no-one realizing it due to ignorance
    Let’s whine about artists doing some else than what we do ourselves
    Let’s whine about music we don’t really like for the sake of whining
    Let’s whine about us artists are not being taken for granted anymore
    Let’s whine about following your dreams and passion has never been as easy
    Let’s whine about that vinyl is a format of the past.
    Let’s whine about people who like other genres than we do ourselves
    Let’s whine about every genre except super-underground-unlistenable-house
    Let’s whine about hard working artists making it
    Let’s whine about weed-smoking couch surfers not headlining ultra
    Let’s whine about djs not going to ibiza gigs after “being” djs for 10 years
    Let’s whine about producers producing great tracks getting gigs
    Let’s whine about anyone who is working hard to survive in a harsh scene
    Let’s whine about everything i will never achieve because i don’t work hard
    Let’s whine about others getting gigs because they are popular while i’m not
    Let’s whine about producers using computers and not hardware to produce
    Let’s whine about DJ’s re-defining “mixing” with computers
    Let’s whine about how things are not the way they used to be
    Let’s whine about hunters being able to get food easier with the use of guns
    Let’s whine about facebook connecting your distant friends super easy
    Let’s whine about prada bags costing to much
    Let’s whine about pizzas being way to expensive compared to before
    Let’s whine about obama wearing worn out shoes to meetings
    Let’s whine about girls wearing smaller bikinis to the beaches
    Let’s whine about cats demanding to much of their hosts

    Here’s some tips on how to live a better life!
    Whine on // Spread hate // spread jealousy // put a stop to anyone living their dreams // put a stop to anyone doing what they love // Trash talk those who work hard and makes an effort out of themselves // Do drugs and talk about all the things you want to do // never achieve any of them // say other are fake because they do things // spread your useless thoughts around the globe // thoughts about things you have no clue about.

    There are million more things i could write, perhaps i’ll make an instructional video or a mailing list.

    “how to live a happy life part 1″

    • Thank you for demonstrating your ignorance. Sure you can just disparage people when you don’t agree with them, but there was a point the author of this article was making, and you missed it. If you scroll up and read the second paragraph of this article, you’ll see why your comment was irrelevant. =)

      Your post suggests you think of this music as a commodity, but there are many of us for whom this music is more than that. If it were a culture and a way of life for you too, then you might feel differently about what happens when commercialization begins to cheapen a form of expression that actually matters to lots of people whether they make money off it or not.

      P.S. I am a DJ who has spent thousands on records, as well as digital files. I didn’t decide to DJ because I’d make money off it.

  25. Pingback: Why old-school DJs are complaining and you should too ‹ Melbourne Drum n Bass

  26. Ok I’ve been having this same debate with my DJ friend for a while and here is the truth. David Guetta and SHM get away with it because they are huge, and because like them or not, they are great producers. However this is not a common thing and is obviously highly disrespected, so if you are an up and coming DJ and play preplanned sets, you won’t get far. You may be able to DJ your local joint, but as soon as you run into someone, anyone, who knows what they are doing you will be laughed out if you play a premade set. Same thing goes for music. You may be able to get in some places by just doing the popular thing, but if you want to get bigger and better gigs, you’ve got to go outside the box with your music, at least to a degree. I currently DJ at a pretty big club that plays more commercial sounds, but only got the gig because the head DJ liked my non-commercial mixes. Now while he wants me to sprinkle in commercial during my sets, he also gives me freedom to go outside that box. So in my opinion the skill and taste factors still matter for the 99% of DJ’s out there, especially for those that want to rise to higher levels of the game.

  27. I find these rants whiney and annoying mainly because the idea that a bunch of shit money-spinning DJs are going to destroy the entire EDM scene doesn’t ring true to me. But we lap up these articles because it makes us feel important and knowledgable and part of some exclusive club. It also simplifies an argument and forces it into this easy-to-digest narrative of ‘money corrupts art’ and it isn’t always that straightforward. This romantic belief that the only valid artists are those that shun new technology in favour of old and refuse to make extraordinary money from their work is ridiculous. There is always going to be people in any given circle of art who make more money than others and who embrace newer technologies than others. But, likewise, there’s also always going to be people like us who have invested a lot of time in that particular art form, who have real appreciation for its roots and who are really interested in seeing/hearing some really exciting, beautiful and unique work come out of it.

    “this does not mean they have the right to charge massive amounts of money to see them press play while they jump around.”

    I understand your point. It’s ridiculous. Personally, I would never pay to go and see that and, if I found out that one of my favourite producers was doing that after I’d paid good money to see them, I’d be pretty pissed off. But that’s because of what I personally go to see. It’s about understanding your audience and I think any of the DJs/producers I went to see play would be conning most of their supporters if they simply hit play on a pre-mixed CD. However, you’d probably also find that if you tried to inform most of the punters at The Syndicate of Guetta’s dastardly tricks, they couldn’t give less of a shit. In a way, they have the last laugh – they got what they paid for and you’re getting your knickers in a twist about it.

    “I also know playing pre-recorded sets [...] has been a necessity now and then for DJ’s playing nightly on tour”

    I think that for someone who sees playing pre-recorded sets as such a terrible crime, your boundaries between when it is and isn’t acceptable are a little fuzzy. I mean, if all those people at the Swedish House Mafia show really did pay to see some genuinely exceptional talent on the decks then they aren’t they too suffering from everything that this article bemoans? What you’ve said here basically translates to “it’s okay to short-change your customers now and then, just not all the time”.

    The thing is, these dilemmas happen in every art form and I don’t think it actually does any real-term damage does it? The art of DJing is not unique in this sense. I hope nobody who wholeheartedly agrees with this article has dared to purchase a ticket to Piranha 3DD, American Pie: Reunion or any of the other gobshite drivel that mainstream cinema is churning out at the moment. Maybe we should be turning the audience of Avengers Assemble 3D into an “educated consumer” so they can be “be patrons of art”? No, maybe we shouldn’t. Because they didn’t go the Cineplex to support a tortured artist who they have come to know, love and understand through the beauty of their previous work and to experience something which they could take away with them long after the credits have rolled and ponder during the quiet moments of days and weeks to come. No, they came to have their faces blown off by two hundred million dollars of special effects and they fucking loved it.

    I get your point. It’s annoying. But I think it’s the kind of situation where, actually, it might be healthy to take a step back and say “okay, let’s take a look at what real-term harm this is causing everyone”. And you know, I don’t think it is really that big a deal for EDM. Why?

    Once enough people start to enjoy a particular art form, money is going to get involved and there will form a mainstream and an underground scene. These scenes are symbiotic. Most people will, by definition, be part of the mainstream but some people (generally those who have invested more time in that art form and value its traditions) will be part of the underground scene. Both groups will always exist so there isn’t really anything to worry about. Likewise, there will always be artists who cater for both groups so we don’t have to worry about them disappearing either. In fact, if anything, there is a stronger flow of people moving from listening to mainstream bang0rz to quality music with real longevity than the other way round. I’d say the music I listen to today falls into the latter category but I’ll be honest, my introduction to EDM wasn’t all that credible. Yes yes, I’m sure some of you jumped two-footed straight into the underground scene and bypassed all that money spinning bullshit but the reality is that mainstream music is where a lot of people get to test the waters and paddle around before diving deeper and discovering music that really moves them.

    Articles like this won’t change anything. They offer no solutions. All they do is make people who prefer the underground scene angrier at the people who enjoy more mainstream EDM. And they also make us look like self-important knobs for using phrases like “our EDM world”.

    Let’s stop throwing our toys out of the pram – music doesn’t need to be this political.

    • Very well put. The writer of the article is clearly ignorant to all of this driven by elitist ideals and the exact opposite reason I got into dance music.

    • amen to that too. really well said. it’s music ffs and it’s meant to be for the fun of it. look at people dancing to the music – they’re enjoying it. they don’t give a shit about the technicalities. nuff said.

  28. Allthough I don’t care anymore on what people play (vinyl, CD’s, laptop) I care what kind of music is portreyed as good from the radio stations. I am an oldschool dj allthough I started in the year 2000. Here in Slovenia where everything came 20 years later this is the oldschool times. I can enjoy almost every kind of music or style from classic to electronic music of any kind because music is either bad or good. There is no other division. But seriously the kind of crap these kids are listening to is realy mindbugging. When I was 15 or 16 I listened to deep purple, jimi hendrix, nirvana…
    I used to be a defender for vinyl’s because I only play on vinyl, but now I don’t anymore (attack other non-vinyl dj’s). It is a waste of energy. Now I only care if the music is good. There are much more problems than weather people play on cd’s or laptops. I run a small club called SUPERNOVA for many years now in the alternativefor youth center called PEKARNA. I started almost 10 years ago when I didn’t have any residency and I came to the boss of the club (for 80 people) asking if I can spinn every friday. She said yes, cause she had this club for one year and it wasn’t working for her. For me the goal was to play. Soon she offered me the saturdays and 10 years later I made it into the most epic underground club in Maribor (the second largest city in Slovenia).
    I remember one time a friend which had the only store with records here got the new shippment on thursday and he called me to come tomorrow, so I went bought a couple of promo records and played an awsome set (the 2nd anyversary from club). The funny thing is that after two months people came saying to me Sanjin we heard your song you played before 2 months on the radio today. This song became a hit. I played it first in Maribor, probably in Slovenia.
    Why is this important. I could have started to play on CD’s or laptop I have a good ear for music and I could if I changed my principles, become even famous here if I wanted, but I chose to stay and to do what I feel is right for me. So now I am the only active dj here in Maribor that plays strictly on vinyl in the second largest city of a one European country. Isn’t that something? :)

    I am a kinf of a legend. I also played in almost 30 different venues here in my city (100.000 people). No one can ever brak that record, cause there are hardly 5 good venues to play here now. People here say I am the best dj, but I am not, I just don’t give a fuck what everybody else thinks. I always played for me, when someone new comes to me saying he has a wish I just show him the records saying I probably don’t have that record if that someone is asking for another song I say I don’t fullfill wishes if they repeat it one more time I tell them :FUCK OFF I AM NOT A JUKE BOX DJ. I never played with any of the famous dj’s and I don’t care if I ever do.

    The point of the my writings:Succes isn’t how much records you sell, or in what venues you play or how many people hear you, it is that you know how to enjoy it like the first time you played. And if you are true, people will follow you, not you them.

    I used to say: It doesn’t matter how many people are inside Supernova, the point is that everyone of them is dancing.

    DJ Sanjin

    P.S: My idol is Larry Levan :)))

  29. Who cares about any of this shit. It’s all about the beat…and those of us who love the beat…will keep makin’ the beats….regardless of society. Music is deeper than any of this.

  30. ” I also know playing pre-recorded sets is nothing new and has been a necessity now and then for DJ’s playing nightly on tour, but to use this as a default is unacceptable.” That’s like saying its alright for a band to lip sync every once in a while. Stick to your guns, this is NEVER acceptable if that is what the fans are paying for.

  31. I have gone from vinyl to cd’s to digital and am enjoying mixing now as much as ever.
    However the thought of ‘putting a pre-programmed set on’ has never felt right… its like pop stars miming at a concert
    If fans are going to pay £60 to see Angello or Funkagenda play at Pasha they might the decency to get a sweat on.
    But tbh as long as the crowd are enjoying themselves.. who cares,
    Most crowds wouldn’t know if someone had pre programmed it or not.. only the chin scratchers who watch your every move, lean over the booth and generally get on your tits notice and who cares what they think anyway

  32. yeah, at large, on point…
    but! look at soccer players – if they generate that much revenue for the clubs (DJs nightclubs) etc. then they deserve the top dollar. If Guetta sells 100,000 tickets at $60 a pop, pay the man the rightful fee…
    I know acts like deadmau5 spend silly money on their productions, so they deserve the payback cos there’s always big risk involved then too.
    It’s too easy to bash those that are the top earners, but yes of course, they must put on a top show too, to deserve the knock-backs – if they don’t, well, their success won’t last so long either. peeps need to stop moaning and get out there themselves and do some positive and productive towards the evolution they believe in.

  33. When I pay to see someone who is a producer and not dj live, I don’t expect them to have great dj skills. I’m paying to watch them put on a show and listen to music that I love, loudly, in a fun atmosphere, with my friends and other people who also enjoy that artist. Yeah, it’s an added bonus if they can actually dj and they definitely get a lot more respect from me, but I don’t EXPECT that from someone who is a producer

    • Then the producer should let a real mixologist mix his productions like the old days. I don’t want an iPod to play stuff I can hear on my own home by my pool with a Mojito drink. For that I got my iTunes play list! Mixing it’s self it’s a art form.

  34. I learned on a set of hifi turntables with pitch control on them made by realistic. I played a few clubs and even a radio show in the early 90s. I shifted from the rave/techno/hard house/trance/jungle etc to house and garage then the work dried up. I do use a digital controller now, but my style has never changed freestyle in out shake it all about. I dont scratch cause I cant but I play what I feel what the dancefloor wants to hear not I wanna here. cant believe peeps are still faking sets i have no respect for them. back in the day if the police raided then records n dex where taking but that was the risk of doing it. I dj’ed 4 the pure pleasure of lookin on the floor and the place is full and jumpin. If I got paid which was very rare it was a bonus and bought me more new sounds. Now I cant get a set anywhere however I try, Its all about big names, or if you know 1000 people that will buy tickets from you or if you know the promoter.

    Love, Peace and Harmony

    Moz-B

  35. The one thing that bothers me about this whole discussion is that playing the same tiny sub-genre of EDM that exists within a certain beat range and limited set of drum breaks requires just about as little talent as pressing play on a computer. Mixing the most popular tracks from various genres is actually more difficult, so I’ve never understood why EDM DJs seem to complain more about the situation. Using the computer and automated beat matching and key shifting enables them to do all sorts of live production work that could never be done before. If you want to play one tiny subgenre like so many do, do that. At least it’s interesting. If you want to talk about ‘real DJing’, actually rock a party. Be open to different genres. Use your much-hyped skills to move back and forth in different BPMs, or shut up about the lack of talent of the new celebrity/laptop DJs.

  36. Dunno. There have always been bad DJs. Back when Boy George was big (like 95-96’?) he didn’t mix. Lots of the first ‘house’ guys from the UK around that time didn’t bother with mixing. Then people said if your ‘mix-cd’ was done on a computer it was cheating….but plenty of ‘commercial’ mixes were done that way and now they all are. Junior Vasquez has been caught playing from a pre-mixed cd (around 2000-ish) along with many others.

    I don’t like the way DJing is becoming more and more commercialized. (David Guetta SUCKS ASS!) Maybe that’s one of the reasons I got out of it (after almost 20 years), but you can’t blame the technology. It’s a trend that has been going on for years. People saying, ‘learn vinyl first, THEN move to digital’….that’s like saying, ‘Master the big analogue rotary dial phone before you get a cell phone’ or to make it more apropos, ‘Learn how to use a Roland 808 before you bother with Cue Base or Ableton.’ It’s just not going to happen. Things have already moved on. That’s why it’s popular now. It’s not DJing that’s popular anymore, it’s this new ‘thing’.

    You might think DJing has gone down the shitter, but the stuff people are doing now is just different. Nobody cares about the old ways. Of course, whether that’s good or bad is a whole other discussion, but you can’t blame the kids for liking the ‘new’ stuff….no matter how crappy it is. If you do, it just makes you sound old.

    *You call this Rock music? Back when I was a teenager, they used to have real music with real bands! Kids of today don’t know anything……blah blab blah*

      • What a load of bollocks!! Tell that to Giorgio Moroder or George Martin while making Sergent Pepper…

  37. i got into DJ’ing before the digital age so i still have a huge affection for vinyl and still buy wax when ever i can afford to. i took the plunge into the digital world 3 years ago and i strongly believe if used correctly there is no harm in it. As long as you are contributing to the music scene by buying your downloads instead of illegally down loading them i do not really mind what format you play on, lets no lie vinyl is expensive, and i find sometime i only want one tune of the EP so its either £8 for wax or £1.99 for a download, no brainer really eh.

    what i find sad with most upstart dj is they think dance music only started 5 years ago, they completely ignore the history and probably never heard of DJ’s like Ron Hardy or Larry Levan let alone know where house originated from.

    The fake ass DJ’s burn and fade out before they have begun and move onto something else anyway. There are still many talented DJ’s/producers emerging so lets focus our attentions on them instead of wasting our breath on idiots like guetta, hilton and the SHM.

    Embrace technology I say, progression is always frowned upon to begin with but its here to stay so less moaning and more action.

    Keep The Faith Mo Fo’s

  38. There are a bunch of whack DJs and Producers out there getting money… SO WHAT!!!??? If you aren’t getting money and you’re mad about it, QUIT BEING MAD and GET YOUR MONEY! OF COURSE all these “Producers” who perform as DJs really have no real world DJ skills… They don’t need them and the public does’t know the difference anyway. There is so much technology in play these days that it’s completely wide open. I love it all. I appreciate it all. I’ve seen people doing awesome sets and throwing down performance-wise using a pad bank… I’ve seen people kill it on CD decks, Serato, Traktor, Live… WHATEVER! The real question is IS THE AUDIENCE DIGGING IT? Davis Guetta, Paris Hilton… They’re probably doing a remix right now with Afro-Jack… Who cares? A bunch of people who aren’t prejudiced by their involvement in the industry and culture are going to love that shit and go to their shows AND LOVE THAT SHIT! Once you’re on stage (Unless you are a bonafide Turntablist playing to a crowd of people who know what they’re looking at) all people want is entertainment. I saw some BS about Deadmau5 beefing with Paulie D…. COME ON DAWG! Paulie D is a fucking joke BUT that cat WORKS! I sincerely doubt he produced that Night of My Life shit but WHO CARES… DJ Khaled gets paid for NOT producing any of “his” tracks (sorry kids, Executive Producers RARELY make beats these days)… In fact he essentially does vocals and that’s it… Regardless, Deadmau5 looks like a punk for beefing with Paulie. It’s like picking on a crippled kid and he gets over on you! IF YOU WANT THE MAINSTREAM $$$$ GO MAINSTREAM! Don’t suffer for your art then bitch about it…

  39. This article seems to contradict itself. You say SHM puts on a elaborate stage setup show but doesn’t perform, but then you cite Orbital and Daft Punk as bands that do? I’ve seen Orbital and Daft Punk – they both put on amazing shows. But what were they doing? I don’t know. Both bands were hidden behind their elaborate stage setups. Being a huge Orbital fan, I know that most of their songs sounded exactly the same as the CD version. Underworld and Squarepusher would have been better examples.

  40. IF YOU HAVE NEVER LUGGED AROUND CRATES OF RECORDS FROM CLUB TO CLUB OR HOUSE PARTY OR RAVE OR……. YOU SHOULD NOT BE ABLE TO CALL YOURSELF A DJ. DO THE WORK DO IT RIGHT EARN THE TITLE.

    • So, In rock music there are tube amps and there are digital amps. Tube amps (comparative to vinyl) sound a little more warm and genuine. They also weigh like 60 to 100lbs. Digital amps sound just like tube amps, they just don’t move your pant leg like tube amps do? And you can dial in a perfect tone with the snap of your fingers, all the effects are built in, no extra 40lb pedal board full of expensive ass analog effects.

      Now, is the digital amp user: A) Not a real guitarist because he is taking advantage of new, smarter, more modular, more flexible medium? B) Smart for keeping up with the times and taking advantage of this medium to allow more focus on his performance and new technics because he doesn’t have to worry about a giant pedal board full of outdated technology.

      BTW: I used to be be that guy. I had a ’74 Marshall JMP Superlead with a pedal board full of analog effects. The whole setup weighed a ton and I spent most of my time worrying about everything working right. Meanwhile, other bands we played with on a weekly basis jumped up on stage with a digital amp and a MIDI board to control their onboard effects and smoked my ass, partially because they weren’t bending down every few minutes to figure out why their handwired overdrive pedal wasn’t working or trying to dial in their tone by hand because a knob got moved.

      I got wiser.

      If you hate moving crates of records to shows, but you still love vinyl so much, get Serato and quit hating. You don’t have to use autosync. You can still beatmatch to your heart’s content.

  41. That is why Dj Dan, Mark Farina, Richie Hawtin, Terry Mullan, Hipp -e, dj Hype, Dj Sneak, Dj Icee, Ron D Core, Hyperactive, Frankie Bones, Greg Eversoul, Larry Bishop, Doc Martin, Vitamin D, John Didweed… Are some of my favorites!!!! They keep it real!!! And if you want some new… I am an old school dj been mixing at home for years… Check me out http://soundcloud.com/dj-louis-benjamin/duckbutter

    http://soundcloud.com/dj-louis-benjamin/va-voooooom

  42. I remember the day when I ended up high on this underground warehouse rave around 15 years ago, this was the most mind blowing thing I ever experienced. I knew that day I have to learn what those spinning wheels are all about. When I finally got to know how it all works, having played in bands my whole life it came to me as a shock and a disappointment that music is not performed live using this machinery, but it’s a very sophisticated playback system where a DJ is creating a sequence of already produced records and creating transitions between them! WTF? My love for the techno culture at the time was truly unconditional and shortly after I got to know the right people, It took me around a week to learn beat-matching and 2 weeks after touching the deck for the first time I’ve played my first party.

    When I began, the only way to keep your set fresh was to get a stable supply of vinyl, either by traveling to western europe, or by having connections there.
    It was about making people happy by providing fresh yet familiar sound, developing one’s own twist to it by selection of music making a cohesive whole that won’t let anyone leave the dance floor. The underlining emotion was unity in love for something unique and relatively rare. These were the times when the “top” places would never book you if you played CDs, as they were perceived as cheap cheesy and… easy to copy.

    I could go on with the story but I’ll cut to the chase.

    DJing that the old school vinyl junkies are trying to defend is DEAD.

    And it wasn’t killed by technology, sync buttons, or performers, but mainly by internet, digitalization and access to information.

    Times had changed, new generations came and their needs are different, so is their taste, so is what they value the most in this game.

    It stopped being the way to give people with new music, they have their own ways now in their pockets, 24/7. It moved from being a collective of freaks into a default way to spend Saturday night for majority of population.

    What is the current days value of performance then? Certainly not what SHM are doing IMO. The development of digital technology allows more and more control of the sound on the side of the performer. In fact, what many of the biggest EDM names do these days is exactly what I initially thought is happening behind the decks in ’97! Electronic music is performed as live as it has never been. Sure it’s based on audio and midi clips, pre baked automation curves etc. but the evolution of software, controllers, now with another touch surface interfaces to follow, allows control over vast amount of parameters in real time. Check out “controllerism” on youtube.

    All I’m trying to say is – dj’ing in its purest form has no place to be in 2012 since the qualities it used to provide are now compensated for elsewhere and replaced, either with dj figureheads, kids on coke, iTunes parties etc, or on the other hand – by something much more musically interesting. I think it’s almost silly to debate,
    I’m sorry but whoever claims that buying records somebody else made and moving from one to another with 3 faders and two 3band EQs equals to musical performance on stage, requiring amazing arcane skills and artistry, has either never touched a musical instrument or is in fact well aware beat-matching is where his/her musical skills end. This is relatively common knowledge these days. Let alone those stupid fucks that go on stage, press play, wave their hands, score huge money and themselves call it… a concert!

    For the first time in history technology allows performing electronic music on stage with such level of control that what some of the biggest names do is play “live” versions of their releases, as live as they have never been. IMO This is a good trend, and those who come first to exploit it win. I’m sure you’ve heard about Deadmau5? Most of them play only their own music too, which is again something many people just can’t bare and try to face the magnitude of it with something the new generations don’t even care to learn, which is aligning tempos of two records with a pitch slider. Come on.

    At the end of the day, vinyl will remain as a connoisseur medium dominating on Vintage parties. In many places it is already! Deal with it and turn it into your advantage. This way you might never be big like SHM, but you can sure build your own niche and make it big enough to make yourself and others happy.

    DJ Facebender ;)

    • Riding two songs together to make a new song, live and by hand, is much more than what you discribed. Pretending to do that while the mac does it for you is criminal. If you think DJ’ing is only beatmatching you don’t know DJ’ing…

  43. If the lot of you would take as much time and effort to put into your *craft as you spend on making “hurr durr ima dj too” blogs, whining on FB and Twitter, or screwing around with meme generators you could have a shot at this fame that you seem to be so jaded about not having.

    *and by craft I mean making music, not playing other peoples. Very minimal skill needed for mixing two tracks together and by making such a big deal about all this, you’re essentially admitting that you find it difficult and should probably go play in traffic because you are a part of the problem as well.

    • AAAAHHHHHHHHHHH! Blau! Tell em. Let’s not overcomplicate what beat matching is. It’s not easy at first, but It’s not hard if you practice for like a few months. It’s science and math, not art. I will admit there is almost an addiction bringing two mismatched beats into alignment.

      It’s art when you make something completely new out of a song and use a track as a musical instrument. I think some people get defensive when they realize they are just technicians and glorified Play/Cue button operators. I don’t have to spend 30 seconds to two minutes of a song beat matching and expend 20% of my attention babysitting a pitch fader. I can devote that time to finding the perfect loop in the next track or getting ready to drop a swoosh or build to mix the next track in or a thousand other things. Or actually making live loops with ableton and creating something non-derivative.

  44. “Live shows” are complete gash most of the time anyway. They’re nothing more than an Ableton set (often pre-arranged), and a few fairy lights. They don’t involve any more talent than a DJ set.

    Aphex Twin’s DJ sets are just a Sony Vaio and a Winamp playlist – it’s a running joke that people in IDM just stand behind their laptops playing Solitaire and answering emails. There’s no point making it more complicated. People can do the same off Ableton, but either way you’re pressing play and sitting back.

    With most Prodigy tunes it’s just DAT backing and an MC. They may employ someone to do the visuals. Likewise Chemical Brothers – sans dancers and MC. Always just been DAT.

    “Live” should be actually live. People operating the synths, operating the samplers, operating the EMXes or whatever else. Live IDM is just a con to sucker in newbies to think they’re getting something that’s genuinely live, like the way a rock band is live. Putting “DJ set” doesn’t sell.

    Ah, DJ sets.

    It’s insanity that the old guys get in a tizzy about using Serato or whatever. I play vinyl, and I like vinyl. But getting upset because people use new technology? Well, adapt! Play better sets! Improve your skills! There is _nothing_ that laptop DJs do that you can’t do with vinyl! I don’t care when I go to a club whether someone is playing vinyl or CDs or using Serato. The end product is key, and it’s the only thing I care about.

    I think therein lies the problem: there’s nothing that is inherently bad about using Serato or Traktor or whatever. It’s that many of the DJs that do just don’t deliver as good sets, because they’re inexperienced or they rely too much on the technology to do the choosing and the mixing. As correctly identified above, there’s no sense of progression, no improvisation with so many of the laptop DJs. The set just isn’t as good. The selection isn’t as good. Everyone thinks they can be a DJ with a laptop and a set of Numarks.

    The problem isn’t Serato. Don’t scapegoat. If these peeps wanted to DJ and Serato didn’t exist, they’d do it on CDs or vinyl. But a shitty set is a shitty set, and the chances are they’d still be doing shitty sets, just on vinyl… and what difference does that make, really?

    While a little bit is from disgruntled old DJs that can’t adapt or think that the barrier to entry MUST remain high (which I’d suggest is pretty elitist), so much of the backlash seems to come the internet. But it’s PURE inbred, irrational forum insanity and looks ridiculous from the perspective of virtually anyone with half a brain and an open mind.

  45. That argument is one big slippery slope that leads into purist arguments about what is or isn’t house music that ignores the way the music has evolved over the past 30 years. Yeah dance music is having its mainstream spotlight right now but I just think articles like that are a waste and misses the point. At the end of the day the mainstream party will end while the underground will continue to go on.

  46. I AGREE LET THE PEOPLE SEE THE HANDS OF THE DJ AND LET THEM SEE HOW THE DJ IS MIXING ,BLENDING,SCRATCHING, AND GOING THRU HIS CREATE OF MUSIC AND BE CREATIVE AND NOT JUST PUSHING A BUTTON

  47. I have been producing house music events in LA since 1991. Paris has been seen at my events since around 1999. Specifically the Sunset Room, where Sneak, Doc Martin, Jason Bentley, resident DJ AM, and hundreds of other legit vinyl djs rocked the place. While I don’t think she is cut out to dj, she has def been in the house scene for many years. If someone is going to stand up there and fake it, I’ll take her over any dude, any day.
    I call Guetta/SHM etc. The KIISFM-ification of the sound. While it hurts my ears, it warms my heart that we have infiltrated every dance floor. Not to mention replacing opening bands at rock shows.
    House music peacefully brings people together, that is its strength that has it still growing beyond the normal 10 year curve of most genres. No one will like everything, but I am glad we took over the right way nonetheless.

    • you must not have heard her album…mr. paris PR man. her money can pay you to write this but it won’t help her career as a dj. her album ruined any chnce of that

  48. Great article. It’s tough to see this stuff go down when you have art in your heart. I have been playing all vinyl sets lately because I hear kids saying they have never seen it, or old guys saying “It’s been years since I’ve seen that!”

  49. My son (15) has been out with me for 3plus years and at this point CAN DJ / PRODUCE LIVE A NEW MIX from what we have from our music sources out there, Why can’t the big guys do it? SORRY it’s just like lip syncing…just my thought

  50. youre all just sitting around wasting time trying to make themselves look cool to people who you dont even know. who gives a shit about paris, house music, djing and skrillex- if youre not doing it now.
    if youre not doing it for fun just yourself, than youre doing it for money. or people who are lucky get to do both, have fub and get money.

    either way- mainstream has always been about image more than sound, and it always will be.

    • Exactly PHL215

      It’s another case of someone getting old and looking back to the days where everything seemed perfect and DJ’ing was real and pure and blablabla

      There has always been mainstream music and there will always be the mainstream where it depends more on the show than the art.

      On the other hand, there will also always be quality artists, DJ’s with passion and so on.. Just find yourself the right parties to go to and stop whining about the past….

    • The only normal one on the board. Thank you. Every mutha fucking DJ bootlegged shit, stole music, sold bootleg cds, cassette, bunch of fucking clowns. YOU PLAY RECORDS. Some of you are smart enough to know how to run a room and make a living, some of you just sit here and complain and pull your prick while your competitors WHO DO IT FOR MONEY (AND LOVE) get paid what you wish you did. Thanks PHL215

  51. Digital sucks. an MP3 is a compressed music file which takes away from true CD-quality sound. I prefer mixing on cdj 2000’s as opposed to vinyl because you get better sound quality from CDs. Lots of lows on vinyl; however, i’m not necessarily knocking vinyl. I started practicing on 1 turntable and a tape-deck before i actually learned how to DJ 15 years ago. I dislike virtual DJ , and all the rest of those programs that supposedly eliminate those tedious tasks, giving you time to focus your attention to other stuff, as they’ve explained to me before. As a DJ, you are supposed to know your BPMs, your tracks, your tones, your keys, and your music inside out. Genre is 2ndary. It goes without saying. Know your stuff. When I was single and doing gigs week to week, I never paid attention to getting “liquored up” or “hooking up” with a girl at a club or whatever. Simply because, as a DJ you just don’t have time. You’re racing against the counter on the decks, as you prepare your 2nd track to transition out of the 1st and into the next one that will be playing next. If you’re doing your job the correct way, you don’t have time to socialize. What happens to you at a gig if you’re running software, and your computer slows down, freezes of crashes and you have to re-boot? You just pop in a cd on your cd decks? then , what’s the point of using a laptop when all you can do is learn to dj using turntables or cds? see my point? Too many fake posers posting up as real DJ’s when you ask them if they know the BPM to a certain song by heart they often turn away because they’re too embarrassed to admit to you that they never “did their homework.”

    • i guess you don’t know about quality. nothing takes place of vinyl, the quality of vinyl surpasses everything. people often mistake louder with better. cd quality is louder than vinyl but not better.

      • nothing worse than scratchy vinyl. a tune is a tune- Ive played both and the crowd prefers a we’ll selected song over a scratchy favorite on vinyl that is no longer available.

  52. What a waste of time. Its all good. Wah! Other people make more money that many of us for being a DJ. Big Fucking Deal. Most DJ’s I ever met sucked cock. Most DJ’s have attitudes that are ridiculous. Slow your fucking roll. I knew Carlos long before his ego got as fast as his ass. You people all talk in fantasy. Fuck all that shit. More the merrier. Here’s an idea. Figure out why you playing someone else’s songs is worth anything. Bunch of whiny cunts.

  53. And old school stage musicians are complaining about auto-tuning and lip-synching at live concerts.

    Don’t blame the people who are providing the service. After all, you can’t blame the auto manufacturer for putting the buggy whip manufacturer out of business. Blame the ignorant mass consumer who doesn’t know the difference – and certainly doesn’t care.

    Either way – adapt or die.

  54. Every big name DJ started out as a small boy in his local club, being nervous about their mixes.
    Booked Tiesto in a small club in 2002, when he was still very affordable, and loyal to certain clubs in Holland. He was nervous before thegig, and he was enjoying himself during. So he got a lot of money and attention, but he still plays and will be playing as long as he enjoys what he does, and we don’t need to get very worried about it. EDM is allready a serious business for a long time, and now many people thinking they should worry… but they don’t, they must enjoy the ride, it’s gonna be long and sweaty!

    The only real thing that has really changed is that more people are finally getting it: house music RULES !

  55. Sometimes DJs who are too into the “DJ thing” are also primadonna elitists. “I’m gonna play what I want regardless if anyone in the room actually wants to hear it.” There must be a balance between “selecta” and skill/techniques.

    That’s why I think Z-Trip is the best in the biz..

  56. Same conversation I’ve seen recycled for decades. Boring. Perfect your skills and show how great you are through hard work, dedication, and a true love what you’re doing. Who gives a shit if you use a dishrag and chopsticks to DJ? If you’ve perfected doing it that way, and can make people lose their shit on the floor when you play then you’re successful. Nuff said.

    As for this most recent “incarnation of the DJ as popular figure”…. happened before, it’ll happen again…

    It’s always fun to watch!

  57. Many years ago I attended a party called Remember. I was eager to see one of my favs for the first time, and was disappointed to hear that his vinyl cases were lost in air transport and we’d probably not be seeing him. Another DJ performed and had the crowd going strong… To my delight said (fav) DJ steps on stage and performs what is to be one of my all time favorite sets viewed! I was all the more impressed when I learned that the 2nd DJ used the exact same crate of vinyl that other did, and created a completely different set out of it. My (opinion) point is this, it takes pure talent to improv and create out of nowhere, like Eric Morrillo (2nd DJ) did, i dont know the technical specifics of how he performs these days, but I do know this…. If some of these up and comers instantly had no resource(s) to what was previously planned for their “set”, would there even be a set? Could they step up to an unknown crate of vinyl and create majic? That to me, is the heart of a DJ’s talent!!!

  58. This is a fascinating thread as I can see both sides of the story and have been firmly on both sides of the fence at some point in my life.
    I grew up making tapes from Pete Tong shows aged about 12, DJing with a double-tape deck to beat-splice favourite tunes together before my mate got decks and we taught ourselves to DJ. Years later I’m outside Mambo looking through the viewing window as he’s broadcasting Essential Selection from right in front of me… was I more amazed at that at 22 or the fact that, at 12, the technology I’d mastered allowed me, tempo aside, to seamlessly jump from tune to tune with no missed beats. The technology is a means to an end but its the music that peiople listen to.
    The footballer analogy is a good one – people only charge what people are stupid enough to pay and for the man/woman on the street who probably wouldnt go to any specific club week in week out without the big names wouldnt notice whether the DJ has headphones on or not or is completely focused on the decks and the next tune for 80% of the night. In footballing sense a home advantage (the power of the crowd) is often inferred as being down to the DJ and the music but its down to the crowd’s interface with DJ, music and themselves. What the big name fake DJs prey on is kudos – is a £90 designer black tshirt really 45 times better to one from a £2 shop or is it the feeling you get with it on, the respect you get from your equally stupid mates or the confidence it gives you when out in it – the atmosphere at a bij name DJ night is often leagues apart from that on a normal residents night – theres a new crowd and the whole dynamic changes – this fulfils the club’s expectations and those of the punters too who associate that buzz with the DJ and the music but really everyone is just in the zone for that night.
    There used to be a periodic residency night called “Feel” at my local club (Lancaster UK) where the feel resident played in support of big names (Jeremy Healey, Carl Cox, Jon Pleased Wimmin etc.) – one week the big name couldnt make it – it was the best night i iever remember in there – the resident DJ (George Thomson) stepped up to the mark (luckily he had the spare tunes) and the night was mental because of the asmosphere built by the big name expectation. It was that night I realised my £12 vs the £6 normal was worth paying the extra for to get the big name buzz even if they werent there in person
    Would I have cared if good old George had whipped out vinyl, CD, or a laptop that night or would I have just cared that he kept the tunes coming, worked the crowd, played what weknew we wanted to hear, played what he knew we would want to hear, and played to the atmosphere. It’s not about the medium, or the tunes, or the DJ’s bigness – its the unexplainable combination of these, together with the synergy of the crowd that will keep EDM alive forever – these big DJs will be no-ones in 5years time – the old-skool spinners are still at it and always will be.
    Whether magnetic, groove or bit-based in origin, music that makes you want to dance will only come in three technologies – bass, mid and treble.

  59. “At least I have a new term to call people who aren’t DJing for passion and art. Paris Hiltons. Don’t be a Paris Hilton.”

    You mean you haven’t already been refering to “Paris Hiltons” as “Pauly D’s?!?!”

  60. Who really friggin cares? DJs today are human jukeboxes with no real purpose or talent.
    I feel bad for anyone that missed the 80s and 90s. Great parties and great drugs.

    Stop crying on the message boards cause some limp dick is cashing in on the leftover scraps of better days gone. Just don’t spend your money on that faggot. Problem solved.

    Kids today are pussies. Period.

  61. Love this artical lol don’t be a “Paris Hilton”
    And the last quot on this one was great to to all DJs, producers and promoters: Create art, don’t just press start loved it big ups to this keep up the good job

  62. well, well, well. ALWAYS the same argument really. shit gets popular, becomes ‘pop’ and the successful ones are ‘sell outs’.
    I’m a die hard vinyl junky and always will be. I love vinyl and everything about it. analogue recordings made for analogue speakers and systems – i’m still finding incredible tracks on vinyl and still getting amazed responses to old sh*t dropped in clubs. Even had a lad ask me what Silver Screen Shower Scene was cos he loved it…
    i love the educational part of DJing as mentioned by others, i feel it is my duty to play the music i love and give exposure to artists that wouldn’t get it otherwise. I have loads of respect for the ‘superstar’ DJs as they have WORKED HARD for their reputation. Nothing comes easy. I just love the fact i can actually get paid to play music i love. nothing better.
    Fabio hit it on the head. It’s all about improvisation. granted, you can have key matched tunes that sound great as a complete set but if you get half way through and the crowd just aren’t feeling it like you hoped, what then….? A big bag of great tunes covers all eventualities. I bring a pretty eclectic mix of new, old, house, breaks, jungle, rock n roll and a barrel load of funk these days I LOVE everything i play and i think that is the main thing. I think that when you go to a club to dance your face off then the person having the best time should be the DJ and that’s how i feel pretty much every time i play. it’s a great life, a great job and enjoy it. We have been part of one of the largest musical movements of all time. venues have been custom made to accommodate dance music, just look at Fabric – that place is incredible! the dance music scene was always going to become more mainstream because it’s bloody brilliant! just be proud to be a part of it, keep collecting, keep playing and stay true to your sound! BIG LOVE!

  63. You guys don’t know shit! I played DJ sets with phonograph cylinders back in 1912 and then moved to shellac in 1926 before Vinyl was even invented! I smoked Opium back then and had a huge fan base! Stop kidding yourself! And don’t think you’re a musician or an artist, you’re just a guy putting on music that was created by somebody more talented then you :-) Unless you’re a true turntable genius making new tracks on the fly you’re just another DJ earning money by playing somebody else’s hard work! What the fuck are you complaining about? You don’t have to buy instruments, you don’t have to pay for studio time, you don’t have to put out records, rehearse with your bandmates and you don’t have to sit in a stinking van for 2 months earning 100 bucks a night playing a show for people who rather see a retarded DJ instead! What’s that abbreviation again? Dumbass Jerk? Chill out boys & girls :-)

  64. DJ Chuck Dilla – Ya, I rembember this….I remember that….I have heard it all befor!! ( As a DJ who used to open up for Bad Boy Bill in Milwaukee/ Chicago – 90’s) All I can say is this…”REAL DJ’s spin REAL Vinyl in REAL time” Everything else is a sign of the times.

  65. sadly dj’ing in the UK nowadays isn’t about your talent…its about how many people you have on your social network site. Mainstream clubs in the UK now playlisting DJ’s as well. I’ve worked with radio dj’s that talk and crossover tracks, and alongside Ibiza DJ’s in London that lose a dancefloor with the drop of a wrong track. The likes of Guetta make pop musical danceable , but boy do they bore the s**t out of most dj’s

  66. Most of this is a discussion about personal taste, and beauty is in the ear of the beholder, so to each their own.

    However, those dj’s that fake it include some of the biggest touring names today, and to me this is the equivalent of lip syncing. I want to see real shit regardless of the media or instrument being used. It would be nice if these young kids would not support the multitude of fakers, that charge way too much for a ticket considering what they are actually doing, but they are there to see scantily clad girls, smoke joints, and try X…

    They missed the years of $5 beach parties, no security, and diverse creative techno sets where beat matching was an appreciated skill… they just don’t get it. The real techno scene is long gone, and the same thing happened with rock, punk, you name it. Things like Bach and the Beatles have passed the test of time- 99% of the current shit will not.

  67. I’m always wary of someone who tells me what art & talent is & isn’t, & who make broad generalizations about the majority of DJ’s without any sort of polling or collection of data. Maybe that’s how you feel, & I encourage you to express your opinion, but one completely valid reason lots of local DJ’s perform is to get in front of others. People have a real need to get up, express themselves in some way, & feel like they are being seen & heard in their community.

    I can understand your frustration, but I’ve seen plenty of articles like this. “These new people don’t know what it’s really about” is the argument, & the author always seems to know what it’s ‘really about’. Same thing happened why people complained about using laptops, & before that it was CD’s, & before I started DJing 15 years ago, I’m sure there was someone saying the same thing: “These new people don’t know what DJing really is”.

    Telling someone their art isn’t art is judgmental & pompous. Say you don’t like it, & your reasons why, but don’t tell someone what DJing is or isn’t, because that just means you are trying to be a gatekeeper.

    I agree with you 100% on what you mentioned in the end: Vote with your money. Support the artists & promoters that give you that emotional & cognitive impact!

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  70. why old-school DJs are complaining about ? now i tell ya: “SOUL” is what many nowadays autosynch-djs missed … Technology and digital files are democratic tools, nothing against, but having a brand nu mac and 1000000 mp3s in your hard-drive will not made you a talented DJ…. even a guitar is “democratic”, but not every guitarist can claim to be as inspired as Jimi Hendrix.
    Research, culture, feeling, strong passion for music, skills, SOUL and.. last, but not least: having something so SAY! .. that make you a proper DJ: djing is a noble art, the art of entertaining people offering something special for mind and body. Is NOT for superficial moneygrabbers.
    peace!

  71. I love all the replies and the great story. I was putting together songs off the radio and recording it on to a cassette tape. I would make mixes bases on what was on the radio. Then I would give the tapes to my friends and they would get passed around school like a viral video would today. This was in the 70s. I was around 10 at the time. Stayed with music thru all of it. Miles Davis,disco, rap. hip hop and everything in between. I never carried vinyl and often wondered when I saw my friends who were DJs doing this I thought. They must love what they do or maybe they do it to get chicks. Who knows? In any case, as I am in my 40s now and still keep up with new and old music I have to say I am thankful for not having to have ever moved crates of Vinyl. I have my lights which break down pretty easily and aren’t that heavy. I bring in my Numark NS7 with my MacBook Pro and the newest SRM v2 Mackie speakers which are about 40lbs. I love spinning and am thankful for the progression that has been made. I wouldn’t want it any other way!

  72. LOL at all you “bloggers” getting butt-hurt over a celebrity getting gigs. DJ-ing has to be the most redundant task in the world…wow, getting two similar-sounding songs matched to the same speed, so difficult. News flash: ANYONE can do it…why do you think there are so many DJ’s in the world today?

    DJ-ing is a BUSINESS; it’s about how many people will pay money to see you play. Do you seriously think an event promoter cares about how “skilled” a DJ is when every other mug in the world is and none of them can draw a crowd into their club? Guess what: when everyone is an “expert”, NOBODY is.

    Paris Hilton and Pauly D draw thousands of people everywhere they DJ and make more money for a club in a single night than each of you winging will probably make in your entire careers. And while you old school “purists” waste your time either searching for the most obscure tripe on the planet (to be different, of course), or trying to find unreleased tracks that .00001% of people in the club on any given night give a TOSS about, Paris is sure to play all the stuff the average person wants to hear. Because in the real world, nobody cares about trite bollocks like mixing, having something on vinyl, exclusives, or “taking the listener on a journey”. GET OVER YOURSELVES.

    The only two things I sense in these comments is jealousy and fear that Paris and Pauly are taking your jobs. Why shouldn’t they? Anyone can be a DJ. It’s not just a dying profession, its skull finished decomposing a decade ago. Unless you’re doing DJ Craze level turntablism or have releasable tracks coming out on top labels, you’re entirely redundant. If you’re not insanely popular, you need to find a desk job and put your “hobby” aside. As Biggie would say, “Don’t be mad, UPS is hiring.”

    What a stupid, STUPID post.

    • Truthtruthruth!

      Maybe spinning and live-mixing vinyl is hard and takes practice to learn and maybe there’s even a substantial audience out there that could tell the difference between a live-mixed set and pre-recorded set, but, if the majority of a paying audience doesn’t care about that difference between the two then, guess what, you’re audience doesn’t care abt your art. Why would they? Why would any art-form’s audience care abt the process that yields the art they consume if the final product is indistinguishable?

      LOL if u r mad at yr audience for not appreciating yr art – can you imagine that kind of dialogue happening in any other media? A band w/ no fans verbally abusing paying audience members at a more popular band’s show? Telling people they aren’t “educated enough” to appreciate your work? Do you understand how popular culture works? Do you get what the “popular” refers to? If you’re really doing the work you do just because you love it, that’s beautiful because it means you don’t need the approval of an audience. But if you’re interested in engaging with an audience in any way, I’m afraid you’re going to have to deal the tastes of that audience and, newsflash, they may not share your priorities.

  73. What i love best about this, is that everybody is getting riled up about your blog post, but you’re still some no-name dj, scrounging for table scraps. Maybe you should stop whining and become a writer instead.

  74. You really nailed it with this article. The message is simple: At least have the art in your foundation. Problem is…NOBODY GIVES A SHIT. Might be a negative way to look at things, but I’ve been a full-time DJ in NYC since 2002, and I can tell you first hand, party people don’t give a rat’s ass how you go about making it a great party…They just want a great party. So, while Guetta and some of Swedish House Mafia and Girl Talk and whoever else just push play (I’ve never done that in my career), it only pisses US off, people who respect the artistry. The same “US” who quibble about the Serato VS vinyl saga. It’s important to keep these conversations going, but at the end of the day, it’s more important to remember our job (if it is indeed a “job” in your life): ROCK YOUR ROOM. Whether you use 8 tracks, vinyl, bootleg vinyl, CDs, MP3s, whatever!

  75. People don’t care, they don’t go out for the music. They are too drugged up to care, all they know is big names hot mixes that are in the mainstream radio. Only the true lovers of the art of EDM will be underground and will keep hiding and separate from those who “believe” they love EDM.

  76. It’s trade off. People applaud Daft Punk for having one of the greatest shows but that was completely pre-recorded and they basically werent doing anything, but it was still incredible.

    The popular sounding eDM cant really be performed live, bar a vocal PA so most effort goes into the lighting etc.

    Also, if you want crazy lighting to sync you need to pre record the set.

    People dont care nor can tell the difference so artists tend to go for a massive visual show because DJ’ing is boring to watch at a large scale event and people want more.

    Speaking experience working with large scale artists at large scale events.

  77. This is so unappealing to see so many people who don’t get this article. He is talking about SKILL in the article (not just art) in that real DJing actually requires it! I am not a DJ but even I know it requires understanding of music theory, tempo, music structure, etc. to DJ correctly. People who don’t have the actual skill that he is talking about are not really DJing. It’s like anyone deciding one day they are going to call themselves mechanics even though they don’t really know anything about cars. This is not debatable, really, this is logical fact. The rest of it: performance, art, genres, etc – yeah, that’s all debatable. DJ technical skill – no. The problem is, it’s too easy for people to think they are seeing a real DJ when they are not. You would probably know pretty quickly if a non-mechanic got a hold of your car and did some “work ” on it. However, not the same with DJing unless you’ve heard the difference.

    • I believe thats all it is as well a skill of knowing the music your playing, my husband is djing now and he doesnt have many fans but people are starting to know his talents as far as the music he chooses to play and how he feels it should sound because he is also a dancer, he loves to feel the music when he dances.

  78. the dj who teaches me, plays around 15 times a month and has never recorded any of his sets. he has been djing for over 30 years now and he tells me the amount of music that comes out now is garbage and i must agree.most people will never realize what it means to be a clubber/dancer.i can honestly play a million times better than all these losers now in days.the best djs/ producers in the whole world are either puertorican or black and from new york, not european.brooklyn has way to much house talent but unfortunately they will never be recognized. if you don’t know what it means to hustle or about the paradise garage/ loft or zanzibar / better days or red zone the please just stop. educate yourself before you say you disc jockey house music

  79. I respect your stories on the beauty of vinyl and old school djing and music I really.do, but frankly I.am.also getting.sick.of u old school djs criticizing us young folks who have a Passion for dance.music just because we werent born in the 70,s. I mean fuck I am sorry my parents didn’t concieve me earlier. I think what u guys have to realise is that yes i agree there are way to many fuckwits out there today only. In it for the fame and money but there are also a hell of a lot of us in it for the love and passion of dancr music! I myself produce electronic music out of pure love for it and just because I am 19 and not 50 it doesn’t meqn that u guys are superior if I could afford vinyls right now.belive Me I would

    • i used to want to start trying to produce my own songs because i really love electronic music, but after going on the internet i found out that if i dont know everything about everything and dont do it the way all these veterans of the EDM scene want me to do it, then im ignorant and not only will everything i make be absolute shit, but i also only want fame and money and im not doing it just to express myself and be creative. which is funny cuz i couldve sworn thats what i wanted to do but nope the internet has shown me the error of my ways. and now its good to know that if i dont spin vinyl then i have no hope of playing my music live because i will be giving off the impression that i am a DJ when I am clearly not. jesus didnt know everyone was so judgmental.

  80. I’ve seen Guetta mess up his mixes way too many times for it to be pre-recorded. This was back when he played slightly better house than the pop he plays now I have to admit… Also the Daft Punk Alive 2006/2007 tour was so similar at different shows that it could have been pre-recorded – it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t one of the best shows I’ve ever been to though.

    The purpose of a DJ is to entertain, not be a technical genius.

  81. read the article again zach. its got nothing to do with age or whether they play vinyl or cds. the pre recorded sets, lack of any mixing and the rubbish that follows like dj x factor and paris hilton and co.

  82. one thing i always say to some of the new school cats that i see that mix a song every minute, it’s not the quantity, it’s the quality. also i use my mac to dj, not to press sync or to cheat, it’s a matter of convinience, i dj many genres so i use my mac to have all my music in one place. i’ve been djing since ’83, so i’ve used 1200s, belt drive turntables, cds, ipods and now laptop.

  83. Good God, I don’t care what you decide to rant about, at least try and pepper it up with some small indication that English is your first language. Your abysmal organizationalskills/word choice/grammar, you sound like every other irrelevant ketamine-addled white kid on the shady end of his 30s, working as a waiter out in Iowa or Rhode Island still saving his tips to go to WMC every year and act like he’s a big deal. Fuck you, man. I might even be on your side for a majority of your poorly-expressed rant but I’ll be damned if I accept your dumb ass as a spokesperson for craft, integrity or creativity (especially considering all the bitter fucks who’ve been making this same flaccid argument since disco died.). You know what? Stop pitying yourself and accept that these people exist despite your impotent rage over how much more attractive and charismatic they are than you. Maybe if you were a better DJ, people would look past whatever crippling flaw you have as a person and accept your apparent genius. Barring that, I guess you’ll just have to try a little harder to earn that respect you thought came with your decks when you bought them.

    Again, fuck you. Make yor arguments with your craft, you whiny bitch.

  84. “I remember back in the blah blah…” SHUT THE FUCK UP.

    All these posts are stupid. Nobody fucking cares about your beats or standing around watching some EMO faggot in a DJ booth.

    Pussies. All of you.

  85. oh jesus: Are you serious? Maybe people need not to need be threated by hobbyist djs? Or maybe they should. I mean, its NOT rocket science. Its all about what music you play, and programming. But I Don´t need to tell you that? Do I?

    Anyhoo. About mixing in a new soung every 3 seconds? Has anyone listsened to most of the minimal out there? (wont even go into the hip/top40 (yes i inclused included hiphop with the top40 hip died 15 years ago)

    Not defending paris, but she does not need the money. In any way shape or form. stop whining. if you have “the skills”. prove it. Does paris cheapen dj´ing somehow? I guess. People stop clapping in the middle of a breakdown. That would be a start. Yes I sound kind of snobby. You are not a “dj” if you dont play records (or digital music). If you play live (ableton), you are more of an artist. (i guess) if you play in a bar, or a batmitfah. You are a jukebox.

    Orbital and Daft punk are BANDS. They created some great MUSIC. And they just happen to dj. Dont cheapen anything they do by comparing them to afrowack, and this god awful david guetta.

    I think membership type of clubs should come back. I mean then music will have some dignity again. Not to be “exclusive in a studio 54 kind of way”. But maybe to fill out a form questioning your musical knowlegde kind of way. Clubs can still make money this way no? I mean you wont have a many drunk bitches and beer addled “bros”. But thats a good thing! BRO culture has cheapened hiphop (just think of the beastie boys and eminem for starters, and yes i am white).

  86. don’t talk shit just accept that that is how alot of people feel and the guy didn’t have time to write a book about it so all the aspects of his argument are not delt with so reading it and tearing it apart like some anal retentive toad is severely pointless.

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  88. I learned to DJ on vinyl. I now am digital. Vinyl is nostalgic, but so was the ’57Chevy. Whether it comes from a record, a CD, or a mp3 file, it’s still music. If I am mixing two songs together, it shouldn’t matter which of the three I choose. I total embrace the new technology and I am pushing 50, But pre recorded mixing is no better than lip syncing and to me that is a no no.

    What I find disheartening is that today a DJ who is older but plays amazing music get’s overlooked for a hottie twink with six pack abs who plays only top 40. I never cared what the DJ looked like as long as the music was good and sent me on an incredible journey. They were way up in a booth creating. Now they all want to be as close to the floor as possible to be adorned.

    I see both sides of the debate, but the bottom line is this. If I am going to go to a club and spend $50-$125 to listen to a DJ throw on a 3 hour pre-made set, I’m staying home!

  89. Blahblah i take vinyl and use my hands to rotate it and play with a pitch slider and some eq knobs blah blah……go learn to produce your own stuff.djs are talentless stage stalkers.For years taking the stage for unfaced producers.Those days are over no more oakenfold for gus gus sorry.if you wanna talk scratching thats a art itself but its not a real genre.If you playing other peoples shit get bent yo.th real edm scene and the people behind it reside in studios

  90. Since when is djing and art? you said it yourself, a glorified juke box. how is choosing what song goes next an art form, people have been doing that since the 50s and not once has it been an art. try doing any sort of ACTUAL music, as in doing something that a dj would play, and that is much closer to an art. Rebecca Black’s “Friday” is more of an art form than djing. Don’t get me wrong, djs are important and what they do is something that not everybody can do, but it is no art.

  91. I’m sorry, Sean, and the rest of the respectable human beings that are a part of this thread. But I can’t continue reading and being a part of a discussion that allows socially inept individuals (that should’ve been aborted, but instead, have learned how to use a keyboard) to participate. Good luck to you all, and remember: Music is the answer! Love will save the day! (And a one-nighter with a heaux may lead to more than just regret.)

  92. wow what a education i have just had reading through this comments,

    i am no dj or know anything about how you guys do your craft on stage, or want to know
    but i have a love for music , growing up on GNR , AC/DC then moving to likes of Pantera, & Linkin park , then i got introduced to House wow …. i have been sold on house for about 8 years now
    seeing music evolve over the years from vinyl – tape decks – CDs – pcs and now to macbooks & memory sticks is amazing.

    i love to go to the local clubs and listen and dance to the music
    what i dont like is Djs who rock in and play pre recorded sets or what they think is right and change the song every 5 minutes because they think its what people should be listening too ….
    these are wanna be dj’s who dont know shit about music, the crowd or how to mix beats
    as i have learned today they are called paris hiltons ( love it )

    real djs know how to mix & beat match , they can read a crowd quickly find out what makes them tick, throw in the right music, spice it up, try new stuff & work the room up and down to make it pump
    that shit takes raw talent , art and skill that cant be learn’t over night on a mac book pro or vinyl

    i take my hat off to the old skool dj’s who started on vinyl, you learn’t the hard way
    as the world evolves ,
    so should you and the tools of your trade , embrace this new technology
    if you don’t,
    you will be left behind to the good & smart dj’s who use the technology to there advantage
    or the wannabe dj who has just brought the latest technology

    if you are a smart dj or someone that loves music you will never buy from itunes
    try comparing a song on vinyl then the same song on itunes ,
    you will be amazed ….
    thats right itunes has fucked the quality of music by compressing it so much it has lost its quality
    if you are a ituner you would not be aware of this
    most real djs already know this, that’s why most of these guys have a vinyl collection

    with all this technology out there , talent & experience will always prevail ,
    no matter what gear you are using or how much money you got,
    money will never buy you talent or experience
    it might buy you the latest macbook , a track from beat port or itunes …..

    to all the real dj’s of the world ,
    thankyou for making the dance floor a better place !

  93. This is a sign of the times we live in. I have played in rock bands for years and moved back to my first love, EDM. But while playing with rock bands, and getting to play with some national acts, I got to see how the industry works. Basically, the record companies have too much money wrapped up in Guetta to let him botch a mix or worry about equipment failure. If one of his CDJ’s faulted out mid-set, I’m sure the prebuilt light show or whatever would be off from the music and it would tank a performance to millions of people. IDK. I don’t pretend to know the specifics of how that works on such a big scale. All I’m saying, is that when someone makes it too the top, they are no longer a performance artist. I’ve seen it in rock bands (choreographed jumps, headbanging, etc.) , and I’m sure it isn’t much different in these guys. Now, I’m sure these guys have a lot more control in production. But acts loose money on a tour more times than not. So I’m sure Guetta’s record company wants to make sure there are NO snags after they throw down astronomical amounts of money to put on a show. It’s no different than pop stars lip-syncing live. I don’t like it, but I guess I understand it.

    Now on the new vs. old school. It’s just different. I can beatmatch. I practice it just to be familiar with it. I could sufficiently mix for hours with vinyl. There are people that would be way faster than me at it. And I’m fine with that. For my own sets, I use Ableton Live with a Launchpad and Nocturn. If I’m going to be doing something more electro, pop, or house I use a Stanton SCS1 deck and mixer with Traktor. Admittedly, I don’t have to even think of beat matching with Ableton, and Tracktor makes it so easy to sync tracks. But i use the extra time for creating live mashups, building clever triggers on the fly, finding new loops, and live remixing in general. Admittedly, I’m not too showy on a stage, as I’m constantly busy trying to squeeze something new out of every mix. In Live, I try to keep away from playing tracks and work more with clips and samples. Some of my own, and some sampled from others. I also have been working on keeping one drum track and one synth track open for building clips live.

    That said, I don’t think anyone should say that the old is better than the new or vice versa. It’s apples and oranges. And I’m going to be unpopular here and say it, but I’ll bet Guetta is prolly an amazing DJ. I’d be willing to bet that guy can mix all night long with the best of em. And I’ll bet he can do it all with that retarded smile on his face while he jumps around all night. I guess my point is, don’t hate the player, hate the game. If everyone want’s to be as big as Guetta, you gotta realize that it isn’t about if you can mix infront of millions. The powers that be aren’t going to gamble on you to find out. Every single one of you would be up there doing the exact same thing as Guetta if you had his contract. And don’t think for a second that you are better than that and a record company would recognize your skills and let you mix live on MTV or something like that. The scene isn’t what it was in the 90s. Record companies don’t operate the same. They have making money down to a science, and they aren’t gonna risk equipment failure or operator error.

    That’s my two cents though. Sorry for the rant.

  94. Very well put. It seems real interest in music is at an all time low. Back in the 90’s and early 2000’s the dancefloor seemed to have an interest and knowledge of everything that I played. Now it seems they couldn’t care less about what they are hearing or even being on the dancefloor at all for that matter. Most of the younger crowd have never had a big club experience and have no idea what it’s all about. However, they feel they aren’t missing anything because they feel they already know EVERYTHING anyway. Will the pendulum ever swing back to interested and dancing?

    • ‘Back in the 90′s and early 2000′s the dancefloor seemed to have an interest and knowledge of everything that I played. Now it seems they couldn’t care less about what they are hearing… However, they feel they aren’t missing anything because they feel they already know EVERYTHING anyway. ‘

      That sums it up 10000%

  95. And have you noticed alot of newer artists are completely dropping the “DJ” out of their name. Because alot of people don’t feel that describes what they do anymore. Love him or hate him, Deadmau5 won’t consider himself a DJ because he has never used turntables in a live show. Look at that whole west coast glitch genere, they don’t even play tracks, they have Ableton sets filled with hundreds of loops on 8 seperate different channles, running seperate effects on each channel. And then they devise ways to have total control over those hundreds of clips and samples and all those effects with a little M-Audio trigger finger controller.

    And you are all crying over syncing the beats of two tracks that have the same drum pattern. Seems a little childish.

    Old school, get over yourselfs and catch up with the rest of the industry. I remember when people using CDJ’s weren’t seen as legit DJs. Now the CDJ and Turntable DJs are banding together to berate the controller users. History will make you look stupid.

    And New school, do your best to know your craft. Learn how to do things the old school way. If you use Serato, or Traktor, leave that sync button alone for a while and turn your laptop around for a while and learn how to beatsync by ear.

    Boom, there, solved. Now everyone quit crying and bring some PLUR back to the music.

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  97. digital era has detroyed the scene, nowadays everyone calls themself a dj, i wish we go back to vinyl times, we wouldn’t have all these bullshit “superstar” djs.

  98. Honestly, been saying this for years, atch stopped going clubbing because i was sick of PRODUCERS turning up to do a set, slamming out 140 tech trance at 11pm, no a care in the world for structure in the night and just mixing all there production.Producers, listen up, IF YOU WANNA DO THAT ORGANIZE A F*CKING CONCERT!! Bring back structure in nights, bring back the art of DJing, bring back the real thought into track selection and keeping the crowd moving!

  99. The discussion is so interesting, especially for an old trance DJ that started in 95 but hasn’t mixed records since 2003 or been in a club since 2005. I really can’t imagine having a machine flawlessly match your tracks together. It would be such a huge timesaver. I used to spend hours playing my records to see if they would work together; making sure they were in the same key, finding the proper entry points – quite literally knowing the exact entry point so the phrasing would be perfect. Unlike more minimal genres, it’s tricky getting heavily melodic tracks to sound good together.

    Almost anyone can learn to beat match but the true talent is in the programming. You need to know your tracks and have a good ear to do it properly – especially in a live setting. Out of all the big DJs from back then, Dave Seaman was the best at doing this live. His mixes were always spot on, phrased perfectly, and in key. Sasha sucked ass live by the way. So if you take the beat matching out of it, so what. If you pay attention, you’ll know who’s doing it right and who’s not.

    But having your whole set prerecorded on the other hand is truly whack. How do DJs get away with it nowadays? Don’t they need to play to a crowd? I always had a vast array of records with me and I never really knew what direction the night might take me.

  100. Well Man, i am really trully speachless… u just said everything that i always felt…
    I just know that this is just the Beggining of the end for the Real DJ’s…
    but is good to know that some people think like me.

  101. As a dance music activist in New York City for over 18 years, I commend what Sean Ray wrote.

    Yes, with growth comes those wanting to take advantage of it for the wrong reasons. Paris Hilton, you could NOT have nailed that better. And yeah, I am very cautious in terms of how the DJ X-Factor may turn out. Yet there could still be growth of the music for the better but FM radio (and yeah, some could say that FM is “outdated”) still hasn’t gotten on the bandwagon, instead favoring formats that are spoken word (i.e. talk, sports) because it’s on the “cheap”

    Granted, the pioneers of dance music (Larry Levan, Frankie Knuckles, Tom Moulton, Louie Vega, etc.) have busted their tails, loading up crates of vinyl with their 1200’s doing their thing to the crowds that love them. You saw those guys, and others like them, close up in dingy clubs doing their thing. Aside from maybe a disco ball with lights hitting on it, they didn’t need huge monitors, fireworks or glitzy lazer effects to do what they were doing. It was all about the music.

    I am not going to knock Guetta or the other DJ/producers doing what they do at these huge festivals. I just think if EDM is going to continually grow, prices have to be more accessible to what you’re getting. I personally don’t care about the high end glitzy shows since to me I just want to hear good music but if you are willing to foot that cost, then okay. Just don’t burn us over the coals trying to grab every single dollar out of us by overpricing everything…even the bottled water.

    I know that there are costs to run such events, yet I tripped out at a club in Miami wanting $100 door for a major DJ. This is the backhanded end of things where overpricing WILL KILL something. Granted, I would not have minded spending $20-$30 for that DJ but for $100, unless I get open bar all night, there’s NO WAY I’m going to do it. That’s where I can see where Mr. Ray is coming from. YES, money HAS to be made but let’s not have greed consume what is inherently good here and could grow even further. We WANT to support the music. Don’t rip people off.

    Just remember Woodstock 1999 (google it up for those that don’t know what happened there).

    Other than that, great article Mr. Ray!

    TONY SANTIAGO
    Coordinator, New York Dance Music Coalition

  102. i hate people who criticize others for prioritizing making money. Usually comes off as jealousy or laziness to meThe author claims he is just looking out for people’s interests so that they “get their money’s worth”. Well, that’s the funny thing about spending – people are able to “vote” with their wallets. If people didn’t feel satisfied with the $ they spend at a S.H.M. concert, they’d stop going. This guy whining (or lerner teasing) will not get Heath to stop going.

    He is bitter. He wants people to listen to his music. He tries to come off as a man of the people, as though he DJs solely to satisfy the audience. This is laughable – clearly he gains some enjoyment out of playing the music for people – whether it’s the adoration or the high of performing or whatever, he is doing it for selfish, and not selfless, reasons. So David Guetta (supposedly) is in DJing for the money – oh well, that’s his selfish reason – and it’s one he’s entitled to have, just as this fag author is entitled to his.

    Which brings me to my next point – Heath always calls me selfish. I think everyone is selfish. It becomes very obvious when people are in relationships. People begin dating to satisfy their own desires. After all, no one thinks to themselves “boy, i wish i was in a relationship so i can make a girl/guy really happy”. I once dated a girl who was incredibly selfless, but even in this situation, she was actually selfish! Why? Because doing things for others made her happy (in addition to me). The point? I don’t know – i’m just killing time with this rant because i am waiting to go to Physical therapy.

    I guess the point is fuck her and fuck you too, Heath – in closing, dick mosk wud upppppppppppp

  103. AAAAAAAAMEN !!! I am very sorry to say this and absolutely no disrespect to any of the DJs now, they are all talented but when I learned back in the early 90s, it was on the good old 1200s. Watching all the big name DJs from that era in the NYC clubs made me want to learn the art of them mixing, I was just fascinated by watching them do what they did with their records and matching the beats so smooth was mind blowing for me as a 14 year old at the time to a point that I would for example go to the Limelight and just stand there for hours and hours and look down into the booth and be blown away. I just don’t see a computer doing the work for you is art, anyone can learn to do anything this day and age on the computer, so to me it does not count.

    All the respect in the world to the NYC DJs that paved the way. You guys will always be #1 in my book, whether you are still around or not.

  104. Yeah since beat-sync features are available, there seem to be more dj’s on the planet then unemployed people. Everybody thinks he’s/she’s a Dj now.
    Pffff the crap you gave to put up with somethimes. And the crowdjust seems to accept all this uninspired b*llsh*t.
    But to all real selecters out there I want to say: keep the faith and stick to your own believe.

  105. There are all different types of DJs. The enormity of genres makes it possible for a DJ to be specific or a more general Top 40 DJ. It is a nice aspiration to want artful mixing and a live polished presentation during each set but this is not always possible. I’ve gone to see some DJs who mixed very well and put together truly fantastic presentations but the crowd to see them couldn’t even be called a crowd by most standards. Club owners are interested in bringing in a name to fill the venue at $XX.XX per head. They aren’t interested in artfulness or ability. They need bodies to cover their costs. Lower on the totem pole, bar / night club owners are more interested in having a DJ that is inexpensive who can keep their regular crowd and bring in a fresh bunch which could become regulars. This is a tricky balance and has more to do with customer service than musicianship.

    When you’re booked as a bar DJ everybody there says they are a DJ or at least that what it feels like. In short, people talk a lot of smack and think being a DJ means you’ve done a few parties for friends. This is not the case. You need to be out several days per week to be a professional DJ or musician. I used to DJ full cohesive 5 hour nights but every since the mid 2000’s the bar going crowd has turned into what I’ll call the ‘iPod generation’. They only want to listen to the 1st verse and chorus. Getting the first verse and chorus is fine but it is indicative of a mindset that doesn’t lend itself to contiguous well planned, well mixed DJ sets. Nothing can be long and if they didn’t pick it or they don’t know the song then it is trash to them. I’ve often seen people trash talk a song that their friend or girlfriend requested. The current bar going clientele doesn’t have the attention span to listen to a mix nor do they want or enjoy new music that wasn’t introduced to them from a friend or a YouTube related video. The role of DJ / musician has changed.

    My degree is in music composition with a performance component in piano. I DJ because I adore electronic music although now I DJ it least because my gigs/small entertainment company demand that I do more Top 40 and private events. Musicianship and music education is now viewed as a luxury and attention spans are shorter than ever. Crowds are more culturally diverse yet more narrow minded in accepting new material. Some others may be having a different experience around the country but from DJs in the Philadelphia area this seems to be a long standing trend. The private party market has is an will always remain centered around customer service more than artistry. I would have to say all in all you have to define your level of artistry balanced against the needs of the gig.

    Much of the posts have been about the artistry and live mixing or the format tables or laptop. No matter the format artistry and not automation should always be a given. There is never a need to fake it or pre-mix a dance set. If you need to dance in front of the crowd just tag someone in to mix while you emcee. There are many many DJs out there who are willing to work for any sized gig. Use them and you’ll still keep that vitality.

  106. DEAD ON BALLS!!!! Nowadays Everyone who saves up enough money to buy some cheap DJ equipment, calls themselves a DJ. Not only are their DJ names ridiculous, But their skill is too. Anyone can show up and hit the play button. That is not a DJ. Give your money to those DJ’s that are real, that have put all their time, blood sweat and tears into their skill. Its the art of Beatmatching, not the art of when to hit the PLAY Button. Here’s too all the TRUE DJ’s out there. Not the WANNABE NO TALENTS who show up with AMERICAN DJ Equipment and A $20 strobelight from IPARTY or SPENCER GIFTS!! These guys are killing the art. Real DJ’s need to UNITE and make these guys put in the years of practice like us real DJ’s. Just because you can play for your Cat in your bedroom, doesn’t make u a Up and Coming Club Jock! Long live this beautiful art for what it is and not for what it has become or is becoming!!! – DJ FAZIO (Boston, MA)

    • What if your whole life you’ve wanted to be a real dj and you simply can’t afford it. all that equipment costs at lot of money and perhaps digital DJing is a way to get there? You have to start somewhere..

      And has anyone stopped to thing about those digital DJ’s who arent money hungry, top 40, Paris Hiton’s? I really dont enjoy playing top 40 music, i dont even know the top 10, in fact the club that i play at insist we play something different. I love the hunt for new and different music. I recently found out about Ghetto Funk music, which always gets the crowd dancing, and SoundCloud which has been a game changer. As the article says “At one point DJing was about bringing new sounds to the floor and making them hits, now DJ’s play the popular tracks to make themselves hits”. I’m trying to get back to the old skool.

      Anyway before anyone goes putting people in general categories think about the young DJ’s who do have what it takes to be “Real DJ’s”, they are the one’s who will keep this thing alive.

  107. I’m 17 years old now and I’m in the EDM scene for about 6-7 years, so of course I can’t be and old skooler like you guys, but I seriously hate this new House style which developed in the past 2 years. When I look at the beatport charts, it’s hard for me to hear the differences between the songs and slowly all the passion and love I felt once for electronic music is blowing away….

    It is my dream for years to become a great DJ, which plays at the biggest festivals & the best clubs around the world, but I just strive against to play this cheesy House music with all the same sounding melodies the whole set….so I think the only thing I can do is to give up on this.

  108. Ive never even used beat sync stuff. Only vinyl and just recreationally for fun when I was in college. To me the hardest part is finding tracks that go together on the fly and letting records play together for over a minute. Beat Matching is EASY, that’s right I said it. I do agree that you will be a better dj if you know how. Commence attack

  109. Can we all just get a long? Isn’t music suppose to be about making a person dance, forget their problems and party? I agree, pre recorded sets makes me crazy at any level. You got paid, you better work it! But at the end it’s about the music lovers. If they went home with soar feets and feeling like a million dollars, then I guess that’s what is more important. Not every Dj is a musician, most of them don’t even know how to read music notes or play a instrument. Thank god for the producers that make the bombs for us to drop, with out them we will be banging at a bongo and some maracas around a fire like a African tribe. Music is needed and should be respected no matter in which way it comes.

  110. If there is one thing I know, it doesn’t matter how good you are, what you use, or how you feel. If the crowd is drunk enough, you are the bestest dj in the world. Its funny how all these other djs whine about “true art” and blah blah blah. Only other djs complain about other djs. We have all been there. Hot spot club, sub par dj, and the crowd loves it.

  111. Real djs still exist, I’m not sure if they are more rare or not. Difficult to find, yes. Open your eyes, search a little and you’ll be fine.

  112. It seems that there have been some common themed responses to my article, most of which have transposed some concepts into my ideas that don’t belong so let me help clarify.

    There is no hate or bitterness. I’m not ‘hating’ on anyone, just reporting actions and calling certain practices and behaviors out to the public. No hate necessary. Some frustration, absolutely, but after 20 years of first hand experience in several areas of the music industry I’ve gained an intimate knowledge and perspective of how things are now in relation to where they were. I’ve also watched other ‘scenes’ go through the same cycle we are in now and it saddens me that we are most likely going to burst our own bubble even though it is preventable. I myself am doing great, I am happy with my successes and failures in the industry, I have had a hell of a ride and it’s not even close to being over. I’ve headlined for over 300k people, hosted my own show on a major radio network, and topped charts with my originals, blah blah blah. There is no bitterness or hate, just a passion for music the desire to educate.

    This isn’t the ‘same old money is at the root of all evil argument’. In fact I clearly stated that money isn’t inherently bad, it isn’t that the system is flooded with money that is the problem, it is how that money gets used. To say the market will decide who should be there just isn’t a complete concept. Throw enough money out there and you can drown out competition, resulting in not giving the market a fair shot at making an unbiased decision. There is actually a disturbing trend of DJ’s PAYING large sums to play events in order to get on a good bill. There are six companies that control the majority of music and how that music is distributed, you don’t think they are doing whatever they can to make money back on their investment? There is nothing wrong with making money or fame from your passion in fact I encourage it. My point is that when passion for money leads you to music and fame, art tends to suffer and the people’s freedoms are limited. In a perfect world the market would be able to decide, but the market doesn’t get a fair sampling.

    Repetition plays a big part in what people like and consume musically. This is why record companies have spent millions of dollars dominating the airwaves and paying (yes paying) ridiculous sums to make sure what hits the top 40. Not to mention just good old fashion exposure. Advertising is a billion dollar industry because it works. Do consumers have a fair shot at deciding between someone who has no money for marketing compared to someone backed by millions?

    What I was calling out in terms of money was that people weren’t getting what they paid for. If you bought a Mercedes-Benz, but it had a Ford engine, wouldn’t you want to know? Sure, if you never knew, you might be super happy believing that you had a Mercedes, but that’s not what you paid for. Yes, if people are happy they are happy, that’s great. But I’m still going to push the truth, people should know what they are paying for so they CAN decide how the market goes instead of driving a Mercedes with Ford engine because that is their only option.

    Again, I’m all for the show when the intent is the creation of art and not a ploy to cover up lack of talent or laziness. We all liked to be entertained, but again what is our hard earned money paying for exactly?

    I mentioned the recent news of David Guetta and the Swedish House Mafia being caught playing prerecorded sets. This is just fact. I used this as an example to ask what it is that people are really paying for? That is a legitimate question. This was never about who I do and don’t think has talent, what gear people should or shouldn’t play on. This was about art vs. convenience and knowing what people are paying for. Whatever equipment you use, I encourage you use it for art not convenience, and when you are on stage give people what they paid for.

    People absolutely care what Simon Cowell and Paris Hilton do, that’s why they make millions from media consumers. It also contributes to the saturation of the market that I was talking about before. This skews and floods perceptions and dominates markets, drowning out others who aren’t fortunate enough to be able to shell out the same funds in return.

    There are so many factors involved in whether one likes a piece of music or not. If it were just a matter of pure math, artists would be irrelevant and bypassed by the media companies as they would be an unnecessary cost. They would have their computers generating the formulas and that would be that. There also wouldn’t be music theory classes, music history classes, and music appreciation classes. Record companies wouldn’t spend billions on making sure repetition occurred. If it were pure math, there never would have been a punk scene or jazz. I bet you can think of at least one song you didn’t like the first few times you heard it, then one day after the hundredth time, you put it on your iPod.

    So to sum up, making money from your passion isn’t inherently bad, I value art in music above convenience, I am not bitter nor do I hate anyone, I am calling out behaviors and practices that cause more harm than good in order to inform the public so they can make educated decisions, people are free to like whatever they want to like.

    Sean Ray

    Not Your Jukebox

  113. I remember a time when raves and house events were more about the music and DANCING. The dj was applauded but not a rock star. Now, the dj is the rock star and barely anyone really dances. Events resemble more a rock concert. Maybe there is nothing ultimately wrong with that but I miss seeing those awesome club and rave dancers.

  114. djs getting fame for producers’ music..thats really lame to be honest..they don’t even show a tracklist in their shows :P

  115. I love that this article addresses the concern of art vs. market share and i dig the genuine desire to promote more ARTISTS in the music business. I have a couple points. Firstly, i think that above all, art is very subjective. Take painting for example.. how many times have you gone to a museum and seen something that, to you, could have been slapped together in 2 seconds. But to someone else, it could represent so much more. My point is, when it comes to ART is up to the individual to decide what they appreciate, and what they don’t. So i guess i have a problem with dj’s playing pre-recorded sets not being considered artists – or being considered ‘inferior’ – or saying that they didnt deliver a product worth what the consumer payed. (as much as i don’t personally agree with it) they invested time and energy into putting together a piece of music. It is up to the individual to decide whether or not they enjoy it and appreciate it, and as a result, if they are willing to pay whatever price tab has been placed in order to experience it.

    Now, something that goes hand in hand with this statement is the fact that music is, to many, a business. I can play guitar or dj in my basement all day long, but at the end of the day if you would like to beable to sustain life (in our society) from your passion, then you have to have a certain sense of awareness and understanding that you are in a competitive business environment. Part of that involves understanding your target market. If my target market is my parents, then playing in my basement is perfect! its free, and they dont have to go anywhere to enjoy my performance :P — However, if you are targeting the current competitive market, you also have to sometimes adapt yourself to the current conditions that come with that. Just like any market.. it evolves based on numerous factors, one of the biggest being demand. I understand the whole “well djing used to be, bla bla bla bla” yea.. USED TO BE. Times are changing and so is the criteria and definition of the art of DJing. Back in the day, people used vinyl records… now you have people using midi controllers sending electronic signals that are controlling computer software. Its a different instrument is all. Does it make the sound that it produces any less audible? In my opinion, people are getting too focused on process rather then the end result.

    To all those who are stuck in the digital vs. vinyl debate. Do you see authors using parchment and ink feathers to write their novels? – but i dont understand, its where the art originated, so because they are using a computer, is their ART less valuable? technology has allowed wonders in ART across multiple platforms and mediums, music being one of the biggest!!!

    I say, SO WHAT?! — If you want to see someone spinning live, and improvising on the spot and adding that element to their performance, then do so! I think its great! I think its one form of the art. If you want to go see someone whos crafted a pre-recorded piece of music, i think thats great also! At the end of the day, if people are enjoying themselves and appreciating what is in front of them, and you, as an artist are content with the art you are creating, then what is the problem? I commend you.

    Just because you don’t consider something as art doesn’t make it any less artistic. and if the market is supporting it and embracing it, then kudos to that artist/business person! — after all, its the music BUSINESS!! Sometimes marketing plays as much of a role in the music, as the music!

    For all the old timers in the biz — Why are you getting so nervous? your comments stink of insecurity. Be confident in the artistic choices you have selected and be confident in the craft that you have spent time learning, and run with it! If you are a true artist and have been doing this for as long as you proclaim, then it should be no problem to be a contender in this market no matter what paint brush you’re using. and if you’re noticing that people are able to achieve the same result as you with a different instrument… isn’t that pretty cool? If everyone HAD to dj/produce music in the exact same fashion it’d be pretty boring.. to me at least.

    I love that a 17 year old kid can headline festivals with a macbook and a midi controller. And i love that right beside him a performer with cdj’s vinyls is producing something that is equally great!

    I guess what i’m trying to say, is that ART is ART. No one ever told Picasso “hold on there buddy, you’re using the wrong paint brush.. when you’re ready to be a pro, come get THIS paint brush.” — lol!

    Music is music no matter how its being produced. As soon as the focus is shifted on process rather than result, is when people start losing focus of whats important. Did you appreciate the art? did you enjoy the art? isn’t that what counts?

    /end rant.
    /end rant.

    • Calling something art doesn’t make it so. There is a certain subjectivity to art yes (primarily in terms of enjoyment), but there are objective qualities as well. For (an obvious and extreme) example, accidentally knocking a book off a table isn’t music, it is an unintentional sound.

      The issue isn’t about what people like, it’s what they are paying for. See the next article as I get into it deeper.

      • I completely agree with you. But my point is that what they are paying for is a direct result of what they consider to be art and the enjoyment factor associated with it. If you think a movie is crap, you won’t pay to see it. Others who think its amazing, will pay twice to see it! Even the ‘pay for’ aspect of it is completely subjective to the individual and what they consider art, and what they enjoy! That’s what makes the business so tough!

        I agree that calling something art doesn’t make it so.. but you have to admit that also proclaiming something ISN’T art, doesn’t make it so.

        I will definitely read the next article. I think there are some very interesting, and complex points illustrated, and overall enjoy the fact that the article is stirring debate! gets people thinking, and talking. I love it. Kudos.

  116. Pingback: Why old-school DJs are complaining and you should too | bouncefm.com

  117. There is all different sorts of DJ… lumping all dj’s into one category is ridiculous.

    In MOST situations, of MOST employed DJ’s they have one job and one job only. Their job is to keep people in a bar so they will spend their money on booze. That is probably 95% of EMPLOYED DJ’s job.

    The rest are either producer/DJ sorts that are there to sell tickets and promote a label,
    “Genre DJ’s” (like those boring talent less haggs who can only mix one style of music for 45 mins at a time buhahaha)
    or turntablists.

    All these different situations require a completely different set of skills and a different set of equipment and technique.

    A club DJ has to rotate genres and energy to keep a dancefloor and bar busy.
    A producer/DJ has to represent his label and meet an expected level exposure to maintain his value in the industry.
    A genre DJ has to select and refine a genre, and push new areas of related sounds, while perfectly mixing with high technical ability.
    A turntablist has to push new limits in his craft, and find new ways of performing better and better.

    There are many other styles of DJ I dont mention.

    At the end of they day in nearly all cases they are just playing someone elses tunes. The problem now its seen as “COOL” to be a dj. Instead of people doing it for the love of music and the dance scene… they doing it to ‘pull chicks’ get free booze, and money for no effort.

    The industry used to be for ‘grown ups’ but now its sadly for teeny boppers with second generation ADHD and tourettes syndrome.

  118. Movie producers play movies in theater ‘s,
    If people like to gather and dance to Your own original production then it’s your right to press play, especially when Spielberg doesn’t even know the name of half the venues his productions play at, and nobody knocks him for not “producing” it “live”

  119. Pingback: Why the Artform Known as DJing is in an State of Emergency | We Wit It LA - What's new in LA life, food, fitness, fun and dating!

  120. Pingback: Are DJs Artists? | JoJo Electro

  121. I’m an old school Dj , i just got a new pair of gemini tt-2000 turntable’s and a edison scratch 2500 cj. If pairis hilton ,aka,(daddy’s little girl) can dj well I’m ready to make my own headline’s . and I’m from Canada,ont. Any body want’s to sign me to a record deal : go to facebook !!!!

  122. I feel like shit reading this because I am one of the people that pirate songs (but I have also purchased countless MP3 files – started on CDJ’s) and now I use a laptop to save money instead of buying CD’s.
    I want to learn how to use vinyl but don’t know where to start nor do I have the money for it.
    I started back in 2007 because I wanted to be like one of the DJ’s on the radio I would listen to (I was 13 years old) and I got into it for the love of the music.
    I have my own lighting and speakers that I purchased along with a somewhat vast music collection but I was never really into it for the money or fame. I like the experience and want to see the smile and joy on peoples faces when I play a track that I made or a newly released track or an old old one.
    I’m 18 now and going to college for audio engineering hoping to learn more about the technology of the past and today and to bring happiness to hundreds of thousands of millions of people!

    I just needed to vent my partial story out because although I admit I am like some of the things said in this article, I’m just in this for love of the music and to bring happiness to people.

    I heard this from a song once and I tell everyone this that is thinking about becoming a DJ at my age:
    “If you’re not in it for the love of the music, would you please fuck off.”

  123. This is always about and should always be about love!!! If you start as a whatever kind of DJ one way, then at least have love and respect for your ability to even be there!!! What truly cracks me up after reading the true testimonies from DJ’s who actually understand why the acronym is “Disc Jockey,” not ipod syncer, is that anyone who is ACTUALLY ATTEMPTING TO ARGUE WITH THESE TRUE PIONEERS OF THIS SCENE, is the most hypocritical “musician” there is. How dare you argue and disgrace a person (whether they get paid millions of dollars or $20 or played for free) who has such a passion for the intricacies of the scene and how far it has come. Of course, technology lets you do whatever you want bigger and better, at the same time, shut up and learn.

    I am truly amazed at anyone bitching about this. It just shows true ignorance, lack of respect not only for the music but more so for the scene….it’s fine, go play your stupid tracks that everyone else in the lineup has at your highly regulated massive event with more security procedures than a international flight. Have fun, the kids will love you.

    Honestly, I have loved the scene and all that it breathes and still resonates in those who appreciate it as such, for a little more than 15 years now. I wish I could be able to give a history like they did knowing where it originated!!! I just remember listening to Kraftwerk, Darude, and lots of european techno when I would get made fun of in school (probably by the same assholes doing the shit talking above). I just started ACTUALLY spinning this November, I produced a few things on the computer…but I was NOT a DJ and I knew it! And fortunately, I have enough friends who aren’t arrogant and rude for some self-propagating purpose (which by the way….the exact opposite of PLUR and the rave scene altogether!!), I learned on vinyl, am spinning vinyl tomorrow night, and that’s what I love. Spin whatever makes you happy….just don’t be a dick cuz you feel threatened by someone who learned to match beats and pitch along with working through a set’s flow, not throwing down whatever you can find whenever….we had a name for that back in the day too……

    it’s called a mixtape….that went out of style too.

    I mean, whatever, I spin vinyl cuz that’s how I learned and maybe it’s elitest to only do so, but I am ok with that. I’m not ok with people, who I can only assume are responding out of anger and self-esteem issues, turning the electronic music and dance scene (where no one judges another person for whatever reason, but unconditionally appreciates and respects everyone involved just for sharing the experience away from anger) into another top 40’s jailbait and DUI checkpoint club where someone is either roofied or stabbed every night. Go play your mix there, bro, no one will notice.

    I know I won’t. I was really interested and excited to hear about all the history, origins, and where it is now (which was never accusatory, only observational in nature). But just like the kid who beats kids up in school, he takes out his anger based on his own latent homosexuality and when the truth is questioned, he acts out.l…same model here….bro feels insecure about DJ skills so fake that Milli Vanilli would blush, makes moronic comments towards person who said something about them but moron relates to himself out of paranoia and arrogance, and then feels more empowered after beating those around you that might be threatening(and if you have no idea who Milli Vanilli is, then shut up).

    Even if whatever idiosyncratic bullshit you type impresses someone, you are still an asshole, and you are the reason mainstream electronic music sucks!!! Good work misguided people.!

  124. I am sick of tried of 2 things about many djs…

    1. they bitch alot, they stare over each other shoulder, they complain, they always want to steal the show, the will be a great party of yours and start asking about how they can get you to work for them or some silly shit… its just a big mind fuck.

    2. I am sick of Djs’ that can’t see it not if your on a laptop and hitting sync or if you have 80 years experince and think you know all the shit – it always has been about the feeling and the dancers, anything less is trash.

    THERE IS NO FUCKING RULES FOR DJING. anyone that says so can go fuck a goat, most of these best creative types are young, most of the best song writers are old, most of the little punks that talk trash are idiots.

    Anyone doing well for themselves is happy to lift up others.

  125. You and your mp3’ve ruined a trade. Today everyone is dj because mix mp3 . changed work. and FUCK YOU AND GUETTA AND ATHER SHIT!

  126. Good one.. I’m an old school DJ started out with crates and huge gear. I love my virtualDJ and MP3’s.. I also love mixing my show live. I would love to have all the lights lazers and flash. the new tech stuff is fantastic but you still gotta have skills and be on top of your game! it aint easy to rock a party.. but faking the funk really sucks!!!!

  127. I HEAR ALL MUSIC AND YOUR DJS AND DANCE CLUB OWNERS YES EVERY TYPE OF DJS . DJ PRODUCERS OF ALL KINDS FROM CHOPPING MUSIC TO ORIGINALITY TOO ARTISTS TO VINYL TO NEW TECHNOLOGY CD J’S TOO DAYS WEN DJ’S RELAX AND PLAY THERE PRE=MIXES TOO MUSIC INDUSTRIES MUSIC PRESS PLAY DJS .. YES I AM ONLY ALIVE BECAUSE OF MUSIC .. ONLY I WAS GIVEN A SECOND CHANCE .. THIS IS MY JOB MUSIC .. I HEAR YOUR PRAYERS AND GREAT MOMENTS OF MUSIC ..THATS WHY IM HERE DJ CandYYYYYYYYYY SHES GOING TO HOLLYWOOD CAUSE SHE’LL NEVER HAVE THIS CHANCE AGAIN ……………………………….NOW I WILL WRITE THE NEW BOOK BEGINNING REVOLUTIONIZE MUSIC SCENE / INDUSTRY…. YES THERES A PLACE FOR EVERY KIND OF DJ’S … IT IS AN ART AND EVERY FORM DESERVES TO BE HEARD FOR GOOD REASONS … BE GOOD .. YOU WILL HEAR THE MUSIC WORK … SOON …. SCHOOL FIRST

    • DONT FORGET YOU SHOULD GET WHAT YOU PAYED FOR …..MUSIC TO THE WAY IT SHOULD BE LISTENED TOO FORM ALL TYPES OF MUSIC AROUND THE WORLD FOR EVERY ONE TO EXPERIENCE THOSE MIXES TO, SPECIFIC FEATURED TO ALL ARTISTCELLAR MUSIC DATA BASSES IS COMING I NEED TO HEAR MORE THIS PAGE FILLS ALL CRITERIA THAT I ACKNOWLEDGE THROUGH MY BUILT IN SPEAKERS MY EARS KEEP DRUMMING MY HEART KEEPS PLAYING HOUSE THIS PAGE IS THE BEST THING BASED ON OUR WORLD AND SOCIETY FOR THE YES IS THE NOW BIGGEST THING

  128. I rarely comment, but after reading through a lot of comments here Why old-school
    DJs are complaining and you should too |. I do have 2
    questions for you if you do not mind. Could it be only me or do a few of the remarks
    look as if they are coming from brain dead individuals? :-P And, if you are posting on additional sites, I’d like to keep up with everything new you have to post. Would you post a list of the complete urls of your social networking pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

  129. Pingback: Why old-school DJs R complaining & you should too | Old article, food for thought... Two words, Beyond EDM /or EPM | Dance Music Electronic - Hard On Club | Scoop.it

  130. I grew up in Chicago and was in HS in the 80’s when House music was first being made. NOTHING compares to the skill and talent it takes to spin on vinyl. We still have many talented DJ’s here today. Hot Mix 5, Chosen Few, Gene Hunt, DJ Cratebug (who makes his OWN killer edits) and many others who are not well known, but just as equally talented. It disgusts me to see all of these no-talent hacks getting paid big bucks and winning “awards” for their lame a$$ shows. NONE of these guys can hold a candle to an old school house DJ. NONE. I honestly can’t believe so many people listen to the crap they play. So sad, because house used to be such a wonderful way to express yourself musically. It is more than just music, it is a FEELING. These guys just don’t get that. I really miss those early days. Going to the club isn’t the same anymore, and is certainly much less fun. Only time I go out now is to old school reunions. I sure as hell wouldn’t pay good money for them.

  131. Pingback: DJs are slacking off | Krystal

  132. I read this article to agree that some DJ’s lack sharin’ their musical experience with their audience and instead put on this “push play , jump away” act they call a service, they might as well downmix an arranged set of songs, push play and party with the crowd, I come from Saskatchewan, Canada, and we love our music, we love dancin’, and being a good dj here is a huge asset, we had one guy come down to our local bar, had some good dj hardware, we thought something Daft Punkish was gonna go down, but no, I stepped my game up, I decided to become a DJ, I know my music, I can beat match with my ear, I can throw in a few self produced songs, also I use Ableton and I don’t make pre-sets, I throw tracks onto the decks wherever they feel mandatory, at times u can contradict beatmaxing with empty bars and play a 30 sample or put on a solo using midi, i find using midi can spice up an improvised set by messin’ with the chords, if the last song’s jey was Am, I used one of the 3 triads within that and blend it to the next track, if that key was G major, I would play on the midi controller Am, F and then respectively G, that chord progression is very catchy and is heard in alot of songs which may be in your set, have fun and be creative, you may never know who digs your style, remember, the unperfect style is one man’s style

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  134. This post makes a good point, but there’s one thing to remember. Just because there are a million shitty DJs out there haphazardly mixing garbage together for a quick buck, doesn’t take away anything from the art itself. Just because someone is a terrible painter or chef, it doesn’t mean it takes anything away from what YOU are able to do.

    I wrote an article about this called “Become a DJ With Passion and Purpose” which addresses this:

    http://www.passionatedj.com/become-a-dj-with-passion-and-purpose/

    The basic point is that, as a DJ, it’s more important than it has ever been to be good at what you do. Don’t sweat the garbage; most hip-hop on the radio sucks too, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some phenomenal emcees out there. :)

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  136. Pingback: Pre-mixed | DJ KEVIN THE KID

  137. great write i have been in the industry for years and just love this, so true dj’s need to stop all this press play shit and just play music like we should, i still use vinyl, and beatmatch and could never pre-record, i like to know people see me because i do what i do well and play great music..

    • Indeed. Vinyl was the “shit filter” for years and when digital DJs pushed us vinyl DJs aside calling us “pre-historic” or oldschool they couldn’t see past the formats themselves and focused only on technology and not what the format did to prevent stupidity with technology. If these top jocks are legit, they can play vinyl (again in many cases). Don’t tell me 1. they can’t afford it. 2. Can’t haul it around on their private jets. 3. Can’t influence their own labels they control to press new material. It’s all lies. Armin Van Buuren and several other dutch DJs have worked very hard to kill off vinyl and vinyl DJs because they know we can mix circles around them using vinyl. We are a threat to them and their false DJ god-hood.

  138. I was DJing in the mid to late 90s. It was all vinyl with the exception of the occasional CD player plugged into the AUX port to add samples, intros, etc. I was, in my crowd, the first adopter of Pioneer’s DJM-500. It came with a beatmatch feature. You could turn this on or off. I ALWAYS had it off. I felt that it was cheating. Damn me if I allowed a crowd to see blinking lights mixing my tracks for me. Sure, you still had to manage the 4/4 or whatever you were playing. But, still, I wasn’t going to let a machine do my job for me. I would not become reliant on a machine. That is not what a DJ is. A DJ mixes! He didn’t just plop different slabs of vinyl on every few minutes. A DJ READ THE CROWD! Hence, a pre-recorded set was out of the question. Matter of fact, I always DJ’d ad-lib. I might have had an idea of how I was going to start, but I never went out there with this pre-defined 20 record set that I was going to practice and then drop. Negative. I was always “in the moment” and actively choosing, based on what was going on around me, what I would drop next and how.

    However, there were times when I can remember hopping into the last DJs record and playing off of it and then just mentally disappearing from the crowd for 2 or 3 hours because I was so into my mojo. I would then look up and see everyone on their feet. THAT is artistry. When you don’t know what you’re going to do, but then you end up in this bang up 3 or 4 hour closing session that went 2 hours after “closing time” and everyone is still grooving and it takes a police flashlight in your face to bring you back to reality.

    THAT’S DJing.

  139. This main difference between old school and new school DJ’s is that the old heads were trained to focus on the dance floor, not gear or playing one type of genre. Your job was to make people dance and you read the floor, got the ladies moving and used lots of genres to do so. Seems like new school is all about wacking off all over expensive bullshit gear and playing HOUSE or TECHNO. Are you kidding me?. You could say the same about production. At the end of the day, its either a good track or it isn’t which usually very little to do with gear. When I first heard about the ‘Sync’ but i thought cool, now DJ will be able to offload some of the beat matching processing into other creative things and it never really happened. Just more average style blending. That’s one reason why Terrance Parker here in Detroit (and if I may be sold bold, older black DJ who started learning basic hip hop skills that translate into dance music DJ’ing) is one of the best showman out there. He has mad skills and it’s great to dance to because you can feel him in the rrhythm.
    Its about the dance floor, not the DJ. Am I the only one that notice that the kids these days don’t really dance that much? I wish I had video from 80’s clubs. Maybe people were just more in shape back then. Dancing with everyone facing the DJ is a new thing that came out of the UK. I hate that shit. Thanks for letting this old man ex-DJ have a change to vent. That was lethargic.

    • Miles. You’re fucking awesome! =^..^=
      Seriously – these kids have no clue what has been lost in the process of “going digital” all in the name of some “mp3/technology revolution” that just concentrated power even more so in the hands of idiots.

      Fuck digital DJs. Fuck em all.

    • i’m with you, i dj my ass off and these new school kids don’t dance. what they don’t realize is that djs feed off of the crowd. if they don’t dance we will switch genres. hat is frustrating. i use my mac to dj but i started with turntables. for me its more convient to have all my music in a mac then carry cd books or worse crates of records but nothing beats the sound of vinyl.

  140. Yes my man sneak it’s going all pretty pretty let’s have celebs on stage so people think they may brush past them!
    Has ibiza lost its soul ?? To many eastern gangster bar owners ! Bring back vinyl only every where , Christ tallent rules over looks and “I’ve got the connections types” . Paris Hilton and alike are driving proper people away ! Couldn’t emegine what music style she plays! Afro jack what a load of cow spunk! His sets are well boring!
    Stormer

  141. Pingback: No More Mainstream: What AFTER Las Vegas’ DJ List Could Mean

  142. In the Netherlands (where we seem to produce a constant flow of famous deejays…) there are many events where fake dj’s act.
    Using their laptop with a sync button on the program, waving their arms like the top-10 guys…. And have witnessed various occassions that the laptop had an error.
    Next what happened was a fake dj who didn’t know how to use the ‘wheels of steel’ in front of him.
    I regularly play at an internet radio station (www.studiob27.com) where you can hear AND see the deejays mixing live.
    This station has invited some of the so-called top 100 deejays to play a live set, but so far none of them dares to do so.
    Is it because they believe to be to famous for an underground station…. or could it be that during a live set one might start to doubt about the real skills?
    Eager to invite Paris to do a show but I’ve got a feeling she would dare….. (-:

  143. I’ve solved this problem for the most part. I don’t go to clubs much now a days. I rarely listen to online mixes from people using their laptops right in front of them. The recession hit the DJ and entertainment industry hard and people just aren’t going out as much which gave rise to webcasts.

    I can have paying gigs in this city playing music I don’t want to play and make $40 a night for 3 hours or more of mixing. I still have my PDX2000s and this is probably the 9th blog like this on which I’ve posted. It does put me back into my “I still want to DJ”, but I don’t want to buy much of anything new in the way of gear besides maybe a new mixer. Mine wasn’t great when I purchased it, and now it’s just old and slow in my view.

    I also wish DJs today learned how to beat match and with the technology coming out I see the jog wheel or platter becoming a thing of the past. What I really don’t like are young DJs today hidden behind their laptop screens playing in clubs and not watching what’s going on, on the dance floor. It’s like them and their mobile phones. Immerse in the screens to such a degree that they miss the world around them.

    Numark’s NV has the idea of pushing people away from their laptop screens and back to focusing on the people dancing. I recall when I played at a few raves in Cali and you’re nervous as hell when you’re first on the decks. You play a song, and people are not really flowing with it. Then you play something else, and by the 4th or 6th song you find one that people are really, really into and it goes from a “I hope they like this” to a “Oh hell yeh, damn I need more of this!” That’s when I put my hands up and jumped around, completely feeding off the energy of the dance floor and having just as much fun as the ravers. It’s a euphoric feeling that’s still very vivd to me.

    I see these giant festivals as they call them now. Back then they were massives, and monster massives and most ravers didn’t like them because they were very impersonal. Both the DJ and the dancers felt a connection when at a small venue. Where as now you have a large TV just to be able to see the DJ like in a concert of some type. People also pay $65 per ticket which back in the early 2000s was nearly un heard of. In these festivals you’re not really part of the audience, but playing in front of a sea of people. There is no real intimacy. Warehouse raves were where you could go and after probably half an hour, you knew a handful of people where as now if you don’t go with a friend, you’ll probably not find one, or even someone with whom you can really connect.. Yep, a rant on the scene from talking about DJing and equipment.. Love that aye?

  144. We need to restore order,I say a real legitimate dj’s union,every dj needs complete all required fields,and get certified before being able to call themselves a dj,not all producers make great dj’s

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