The Future of Digital DJing
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  1. #1
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    Default The Future of Digital DJing

    Hey all, I've been pondering this for a few months now and would love your feedback. I DJ all types of events, but mostly weddings (about 60 per year) and I quite often practice/DJ in my home studio with a full setup when I'm not out at an event so I can stay sharp. I typically use a couple laptops and midi controller (Native Traktor Kontrol S4 MK2, TKZ1 and TKX1 MK1).

    I have come across a DJ software for the Android (Cross DJ) platform and have been experimenting with it at home. It is freaking cool and does SOOOO much. I can loop, sync, add effects etc.. all the same stuff we can do as DJs with our midi controllers.

    What do you think the future of DJing is? I've always been a forward thinker in this area ( I went to digital DJing back in 2002 when all my competition was still using CD's and even cassette tapes??) and I see it going to smaller setups. I can see ipads and tablets being used more and more. I can connect a 2TB hard drive to my phone dude. Would you ever give consideration to DJing with a tablet or iPad and dumping laptops altogether? I would always have 2 of them setup for more versatility, but they can plug right into your mixer then out to speakers.

    I don't know, just thinking about the future of DJing I guess..

  2. #2

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    Im excited about the S8 from NI to come out and the possibility of purchasing a unit if not too expensive. I recently came across the Novation Twitch and needless to say Im very impressed with it. I think the Twitch is way ahead of its time. If I knew what I wanted as far as dj'ing goes I may have purchased a Twitch instead of my current setup of a DJ Tech X10, X1-MK2 and F1 I may still go the Twitch route. I think the future of djing is indeed to smaller all in one jogless devices with touch strips and screens. I hope as units get smaller the price gets cheaper.
    Last edited by bc6; 10-05-2014 at 02:17 PM.
    Numark 4 Trak | VCI-400 | Fostex PM0.3 Bookshelf Monitors | The Triple Threat NI-F1, N1-X1-MK2, NI-Z1 | Serato DJ/Flip

  3. #3
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    Yeah I hear you there. I have TKS4 MK2 and a couple other Kontrollers. I'm really looking at forgoing kontrollers altogether and getting tablets with USB ports that can handle 1 or 2TB HD's. I think that would be a cool way of having a quick setup with Great performance and still get great sound being able to push it through a mixer. I really have no interest in TKS8 at this point.

  4. #4
    DJTT Mapping Ninja Moderator Stewe's Avatar
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    Should the future of djing be considered in terms of the specific controller options or the open software customization possibilities for any controller?

    Or both?

  5. #5
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    I would like the future to be more modular so that I can pick my own set of good controllers. I don't like tablets or dj-ing on my phone. I do have the same Cross DJ app on mine, but only as a last resort backup. Twisting real knobs and pushing real buttons works much better when you're actually doing stuff.
    But I guess the real future will be sync, sync and more sync... At that point, it doesn't matter wether you have good quality buttons or knobs. Even the most ham-fisted old git can make perfect transitions on his ipad. Sure that's all fun and games and dj-ing is indeed more than just beatmatching. But to me, that's almost the true definition of hell. Or in other words, completely boring. So I guess that's what the future is to me, completely boring. If it comes to that, I would happily stay old-fasioned.

  6. #6
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    I've been playing with this stuff a while and have used basically everything. I wouldn't mind moving to a tablet, but I think the hardware is going to have to get better before anyone really takes them seriously. I also just think that having the keyboard, mouse, and a good amount of storage internal is going to trump portability for a while.

    A laptop with 10,000 records is still a lot lighter and easier to carry than 50 records, let alone 10,000.

    I don't have a problem with sync. Or effects. Or anything else, really. It's still up to the DJ to not ruin things, but now it's about having the balls to not do too much as opposed to a basic level of competence.

    And having all the fancy stuff basically means freedom to choose what you want to do and how you want to do it.

    For the mobile/wedding guys....there are a lot of ways to roll. And it still comes down to who can do what the couple want, who can deal with the demands, and who can get ALL the music they want, run the sound system, and keep the party going. The DJ at my wedding was absolutely phenomenal and had just about the best knowledge of music of anyone I've ever talked to, but I don't envy him. There's no way I'd want to try to make a couple like us happy.

    I think all-in-one controllers are going to get better; hopefully, they'll also get more diverse. The S8 is a good step in that direction (but still not exactly what I'd want)...it's still 4 decks and a mixer. But, its 2 decks + 2 remix decks and doesn't rely as heavily on layers. The mixer is boring standard, but at least its a good boring standard.

    The day they build something like it that has Traktor built into and running on the device (managed from a real computer) will be a good day. I still might not buy it, because right now 3+1 sounds better than 2+2, and I'm back in my "I want a rotary mixer" mindset. But when someone finally does it better than that Stanton thing....the world will change.

  7. #7
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    There was an article here or at another place with a kickstarter project for knobs that stick right onto the ipad. Once they have that perfected I think it will blow up.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by JaF View Post
    There was an article here or at another place with a kickstarter project for knobs that stick right onto the ipad. Once they have that perfected I think it will blow up.
    Maplins has been selling something like this for years. Faders and jog wheels that suction cup onto the screen. Apparently they work, but, after having to use my iPad as a controller once in anger, never again. Too easy to brush against the screen and mess something up.

  9. #9
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    @stormcaller you're so right dude. When I'm at my home studio DJing with the tablet and Cross DJ, it is Super easy to accidentally brush the screen and totally screw yourself. So that's one big negative right there.

    @mostafa it is very hard being a wedding DJ. The bride and groom typically want a club DJ feel with a lot of wedding dj experience. The pressure to make sure all music is correct is crushing.

    @stewe I guess what I meant by the future of DJing is that...is it going to smaller faster setups? As a mobile wedding dj i usually have to setup speakers (subs and tops) my actual DJ setup and a lot of times the B&G have there ceremony somewhere else. So I will have to setup an additional system. Usually for the ceremony or the cocktail hour (which can also normally be in a different area other than where the main system is) I use my tablet and plug into the back of a powered speaker with a pre-built playlist of bride requested music.

    I'm looking to get smaller in terms of setup without giving up any quality whatsoever. Mostafa makes a great point about the 3+1 thing. I just wanted feedback from you all, and so far it's been great feedback. I'm always looking to take my business/skills to the next level. I always want to keep getting better at this.

    Thanks so much guys!

  10. #10
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobby5374 View Post
    @mostafa it is very hard being a wedding DJ. The bride and groom typically want a club DJ feel with a lot of wedding dj experience. The pressure to make sure all music is correct is crushing.
    Yeah. I don't envy wedding jocks. This guy was phenomenal, and apart from basically just being nice to people on forums (no offense), I didn't realize it was possible for them to be that good.

    We talked about music for an hour or two the first time we spoke. He knew as much as my wife about industrial, more than me about hip hop, more than either of us about country, almost as much as me about house, and more than both of us put together about pop. He asked which specific versions of some specific songs we wanted played. He caught some very quick cues changing songs during the bouquet/garder toss. And he at least acted as excited as we were.

    I could not do that job.

    FWIW, he was using virtual DJ and some small controller....apparently because that's all he ever used. I assume a mentor or former boss got him turned onto it and he just never changed. I don't blame him.

    One thing I hope for....real quality. Traktor on a dedicated embedded computer with good converters that go straight from the internal representation (with a virtually nonexistent noise floor) to a nice, rich, balanced analog output, plus sensible metering that helps idiots not redline the converters....would go a long way towards making average parties sound a lot better.

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