| letters to the editor | features | reviews | classifieds | resources | business center




 CD DJing

Stan Smith

I never,ever, thought I say this, but I am beginning to embrace the idea of DJing with CDs.

I know I am about five years late, but better late than never....

For people who know me, the last statements border on absolute blasphemy. I have been the posterchild for the keep vinyl alive campaign, to the point of buying records on more expensive and harder to find imports than purchasing the readily available CD versions. I still believe that the best DJing is done with two turntables and a mixer. I still believe in dragging five or six crates of records to every party. But a couple of things have happened to make me reconsider my stand against CDs. One is the Pioneer DJ CD player. The other is the CD burner.

There have been DJ specific CD players for quite some time, with Denon setting the industry standard. The early players were more geared for studio and radio work, with dual transports, pitch controls, and effects buttons. They were, however, hard to mix with, mainly because the controls were set up more like using a sampler, and remote control thru a mixer was iffy at best. The pitch controls adjusted both pitch and speed(like turntables), but with larger ranges, the chipmunk effect became more prevalent. Also, there was no real instant start, making accurate mixing a hit or miss affair. The learning curve for these CD players was also high, and the players were expensive, meaning that most DJs didnt own thier own, and only had chances to work with them on the radio or in the clubs.

Pioneer changed the thinking when they started marketing thier CD players. First off, they look and are laid out to resemble the Technics 1200, the industry standard. This can help DJs with the transition, as it gives them a reference point to work from. Pioneer added features such as the Master Tempo function, which keeps the musical pitch constant as the DJ increases or decreases the speed. Pioneer also added remote fader start(with thier mixers), and seamless looping with editing and relooping, helping DJs further expand thier mixing possibilities. The CDJ100s model went even further by adding front panel slide in CD loading, and the Digital Jog Break function, which allows the jog wheel to control the flange/phaser(Jet), pitch transpose(Zip), and filter(wah) functions, making these CD players the closest things to turntables yet. And no, im not giving Pioneer free advertising, though if anyone from the company is reading and wants to talk endorsements... Seriously, I have tried and genuinely like the products.

The bigger reason for my change of heart toward CD DJing has to be the development of the CD burner, and the possibilities that it creates. In addition to DJing, I also like to produce and do remixes. I love to show them off at parties, but playing them was always a problem. I usually mix down to DAT, but most clubs don't have DAT players readily available, and if they do, they are either not hooked up, or not hooked up in a way that you could readily mix with it. I could try dropping it to cassette, but the sound quality and maintenance of cassette decks in many clubs are suspect, and cassettes are real hard to cue. I could have acetates pressed up-they are special pressings of songs that can be played a limited number of times on a turntable (usually 35) before degradation of sound quality. Problem is, acetates are also expensive-$35-$55 a pop, and can usually hold only one or two songs on a plate. If you have ten or twelve remixes you want to play at a party, that can add up quickly. CD burners, on the other hand, allow me to burn digital copies off my computer for almost perfect sound quality, and onto a CD, which I can play just about anywhere. Unlike acetates, I don't have to wait 3-5 days to get my plates, so if I put together a hot remix on the day of the party, I can burn it and play it that night. Also, CDs can hold 74 minutes of material-that is a decent number of remixes on one disc.

Now, don't worry-vinyl is still number one in my heart and in my mixes. It's just that CDs allow me to bring Mr Terror the producer and Mr Terror the remixer to the party cheaply and easily, allowing me to bring a few more weapons to the arsenal to make me stand out, and to make my parties sound more like my tapes.....




web hosting | how to advertise | submit an article  

  about DJzone

DJzone network:
DJzone.com | Partypros.com | DJchat.com | DJ-mall.com | DJgearbid.com | MDJU.com | DJTalk.com | DiscJockeydirectory.com | 411dj.com

   DJzone | letters to the editor | features | reviews | daily music news | classifieds | resources

Copyright © 2001 DJzone, Inc. All rights reserved.