DJing with controllers, Sync and expectations.....
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  1. #1
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    Default DJing with controllers, Sync and expectations.....

    After about a year of rest from the rave and DJ scene, I came back and got myself an S4. With a plethora of music ranging from Prog House, Breaks, to DnB, I decided that I would start making mixes and promote myself to start playing out again. I showed some of my friends my new toy, some of whom had CDJs and was met with a face of unimpressed enthusiasm.

    Most of them weren't sure what they were looking at. They saw it as a $900 toy that has way too many buttons for just "normal" mixing. They saw Traktor as another piece of expensive software that had effects and a Sync button.

    They kept asking why I wasnt using my other two decks, the sample decks or the other effects (I was only using Beatmasher and Delay sparingly.)

    Other comments were "So you just use sync now?". After a few weeks of this I was beginning to feel let down. I have had about seven years of traditional vinyl beatmatching experience, but I was starting to get tired of not being able to lug my gear around in one bag. Thats why I decided on the S4, not because of the effects, the remix decks, the effects, the pretty waveforms, but simply because I have a passion of music that ranges all over the place and I'd like to play it for others.

    I personally hate the sync button. Its only as accurate as the beatgrid, and frankly im too lazy to set up a beatgrid for 5k+ tracks of music. I use mixed in key, because of the convenience and because I like to hear a good sounding mix.

    I use very few effects unless the mood is right and simply because the reason im playing a track is because it sounds good to begin with.

    So, i guess my question is, how would you guys deal with comments and moods like the ones ive described? Am I automatically put into the "He uses a controller, he must Sync his way from 10 to 12 every night" category now?

    Am I obligated to utilize all four track decks with every mix? Should I be using 4 effects every five minutes now?

    I know the bar is set kinda high now as far as how a DJs mix should be sounding, with artists using beatmasher every 2 secs, but I personally like to ride the mix and slowly layer tracks throughout the night, rather than punch people in the face with ear splitting reverb and deafening echos and delays.

    Cant I just use the S4 for a simple two track mix?!

    Im looking for personal thoughts and actual commentary, not another Sync debate or controllerism vs DJing discussion.

  2. #2
    Tech Guru AllDay's Avatar
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    Just like everything in life, dont second guess yourself bro. As long as your pleasing the crowd it doesn't really matter what you do./

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janky View Post
    Am I obligated to utilize all four track decks with every mix? Should I be using 4 effects every five minutes now?

    I know the bar is set kinda high now as far as how a DJs mix should be sounding, with artists using beatmasher every 2 secs, but I personally like to ride the mix and slowly layer tracks throughout the night, rather than punch people in the face with ear splitting reverb and deafening echos and delays.

    Cant I just use the S4 for a simple two track mix?!

    Im looking for personal thoughts and actual commentary, not another Sync debate or controllerism vs DJing discussion.
    No, don't feel obligated to use all 4 decks/fx/beat jumping etc - mostly sounds horrible to me! And yes, absolutely no problem at all with just doing 2 track mixes - it's what I do in the main although I switch between manual beatmatching and sync depending on what I'm doing.

    Like youself I've come from a vinyl background of 18 years+ and pretty much skipped over the CDJ revolution and got an S4 a year and a half ago. The main reason being cost, I wanted to keep getting the tunes but what with growing commitments elsewhere, buying vinyl took a back seat. Now I have the ideal setup for me, the 1210's for all the vinyl I've collected over the years and the S4 for the current tunes.

    I have to say I still find the TT's the best for beatmatching in terms of feedback, probably the hardest to work in the mix but vinyl is still my first love.
    20+ years man & boy, working the platters that matter. D3EP DJ.

  4. #4
    Tech Guru squidot's Avatar
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    i've gone through the same stuff and try not to listen to all of the negativity. i came up through vinyl, then cdjs, now onto a vci-400 ege. having fun with it and making good sets are the most important thing, so don't listen to the haters. use sync only if you want to. use as many or as little decks and effects as you care to. i usually prefer a more minimal approach (depending on the music) and a lot of others do as well, but all of that is subjective really. you're never going to please everyone so please yourself and the other people on your wavelength will happily follow.
    tsp 2.5 | vci-400 ege | mfspectra | kontrol x1s | rokit 8s (ferrari grey) | krk 10 sub | audio 8
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  5. #5
    Tech Guru dripstep's Avatar
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    I think you need some more open minded friends. The crowd only knows what's coming out of the speakers as you well know. They don't care what you use. CD DJs got the same thing from the vinyl purists, still do in some circles. Don't worry about it, the controllerists will be giving it to the tablet DJs soon enough.
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    manners don't cost a thing dude - never forget that, it'll help you in all walks of life.

  6. #6

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    There's usually a reason behind such ranting, such as:
    * Scared of new technology and that the new generation will take over DJ:ing
    * Personal investment learning a technology that is now obsolete
    * Jealousy that someone could afford new gear

    and so on. So don't take it personal. Even the sync button is not evil if it makes people to dance which is job no 1 when DJ:ing, not to show off ones talent with technology.

  7. #7
    Tech Guru DarioJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janky View Post
    ...I have a passion of music that ranges all over the place and I'd like to play it for others.

    ....I like to hear a good sounding mix.
    As long as you're doing this ^, does anything else matter?
    The MUSIC is what matters!
    Everything else is _________

  8. #8

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    their friends are hater!!! don't listen to that crap. people that call them self "dj" or w/e seem to bag on other dj's!!! wth is wrong with that.

    who cares what people use (cdjs, vinyl, controllers) w/e, we should embrace the difference and support each other, we don't got times to talk crap when the scene is so small as it is.

    just have fun!!! make people dance! im sorry for the ones that constantly look down on that people with controller saying "pshh, you call that dj'ing u synced it", instead of focusing on that, try dancing for a change and enjoy the music!

  9. #9
    Tech Mentor rdale's Avatar
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    I wouldn't stress it, I think most of the flash is best used sparingly anyways, meant to enhance not pound the face with noise, unless there is a reason. I rarely use more than three tracks at a time and one of them is usually an acapella if I'm mixing more than three decks. I kind of wondered the same thing at one point, but just started to enjoy the tools for what they are, and how I wanted to use them. The real question is are you having fun with it?

  10. #10
    DJTT Admin Scammer scamo's Avatar
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    Well, I like my sync buttons. They give me more time to concentrate on much more important things than beat matching, which I can do, if I have to, I just don't, because I don't need to.

    As for what others say, are they really people you feel you should be taking advice from? If they aren't even close to being a couple of levels better than you are at DJing, then I personally would ignore their criticism. Maybe it is actually the fact that you are a couple of levels better than they are (in their minds), now that you are using the S4 and Traktor. Many insecure people like to drag other people, and very often even friends, back down to "their level" with negative comments and put downs. Just let it go and do what you feel is right for you.

    As for being too lazy, just let Traktor do all the work (hopefully you have a fairly decent computer though...). Click on "Track Collection", select all your tracks, right click on them and select "Analyze(Async)" and go out to dinner (with your wife or girlfriend) and/or go see a movie, go to bed, and the next morning, when you wake up, all your tracks will be beat gridded and at least 80-90%, if not more, will be gridded good enough to not worry about and sync will work like a charm.

    scamo
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