Most DJs suck?
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Thread: Most DJs suck?

  1. #1
    Tech Guru IznremiX's Avatar
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    Default Most DJs suck?

    Before you read this: by writing this I’m not saying that I’m some super crazy DJ, I still have a lot to learn myself. This is just something I’ve felt for a long time and I’d like to get some insight on how other people feel about this. Also, I’m talking mostly about club djing here.

    edit: after some discussion, i realized the thread title was a little misleading. just because a dj isn't technical doesn't make them a bad dj, and thats not what I'm going for here

    I got a chance to see dj spinbad and dj starting from scratch over the weekend (they played a set at a Russell Peters show). Their set was AMAZING and blew my mind. They were doing something truly artistic and were essentially making something new on stage. Slick cuts, juggling, acapellas, etc. It made me think, why isn’t the standard for djs a little bit higher? Why aren’t big touring djs and resident djs expected to put some skill into what they do?

    Overall, I think its safe to say that the majority of djs don’t really engage in the technical aspects of djing; they don’t necessarily “make” something new, they often just beat match between two tunes and call it a day. Some people like to pat themselves on the back for beatmatching, phase matching, phrase matching, etc. but as A-trak said: no one ever complimented a dj on how artistically they beat match. Spending a week learning basic beat matching and having an interest in a specific genre of music (which is something virtually something everyone has) is basically enough to make a mix that would be considered “acceptable”. I find that a lot of djs just reach this acceptable level and then don't feel the need to learn beyond that.

    Does anyone else see a problem with this? Everyone complains about aoki, guetta, etc. jut hitting play, but how many regular djs do anything more than that? Along with this, its almost become the standard for people to think of djs as “record player players”. I was reading the paper this morning and the review of the show stated “also appearing was DJ Sarting from Scratch and DJ Spinbad but neither brought much to the evening as canned music would have easily filled the same role”. After perhaps dj craze, these guys played the craziest set I’ve seen in my life. Tonnes of live mashes, cutting etc. between each other all by ear. They were incredibly technical and not messy in the slightest. Also they were about 20 feet away from eachother so they couldn’t communicate or screen peak. Because we’ve set the standard so low, DJs who are actually talented don’t get the props they deserve. Because the majority of DJs themselves are ok with being at the "acceptable" level (and don't strive to do anything necessarily creative), people don't seem to make a distinction between a quality dj and your average joe.

    sorry for the novel, just something I wanted to discuss here opinions?
    Last edited by IznremiX; 10-01-2012 at 09:49 PM.
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  2. #2

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    Sounds so true to me.
    It's a shame there are even some people out their getting money for setting up playlists that are then played by the software via auto-transition.
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  3. #3

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    You're not going to be doing a lot of scratching playing EDM. It sounds like you're asking guys who play house to be more like hip-hop DJs/turntablists. They're 2 different ways of going about being a DJ.
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    Tech Guru IznremiX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebr4nd View Post
    You're not going to be doing a lot of scratching playing EDM. It sounds like you're asking guys who play house to be more like hip-hop DJs/turntablists. They're 2 different ways of going about being a DJ.
    doesn't mean you can't be creative though. look at jeff mills and carl cox. also i think scratching can go really well with some kinds of electronic music, laidback luke is a great example
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    Jeff Mills and Carl Cox play Techno, which lends itself well to layering songs and lots of looping...very different from playing electrohouse/dubstep/progressive house. My point is that you can be creative without being a turntablist, which a lot of things you are citing as creative are.
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    Tech Guru IznremiX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebr4nd View Post
    Jeff Mills and Carl Cox play Techno, which lends itself well to layering songs and lots of looping...very different from playing electrohouse/dubstep/progressive house. My point is that you can be creative without being a turntablist, which a lot of things you are citing as creative are.
    oh sorry I was missing your point, your 100% right.

    edit: would you agree though that most djs don't really pursue being creative though?
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    Tech Guru Timbo21's Avatar
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    Dj'ing's diffferent things to different folks. Ultimately, it's traditionally been playing other people's records.

    Beatmatching long mixes used to be a real skill in vinyl days, and it was creative.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by IznremiX View Post
    oh sorry I was missing your point, your 100% right.

    edit: would you agree though that most djs don't really pursue being creative though?
    Yes. That's because a lot of DJs in the genres that are prominent in the electronic music scene now are producers first and DJs second. Guys like Carl Cox and Danny Tenaglia (who are amazing DJs) are known for their ability to rock a party as opposed to being known for their ability to make a killer track.
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  9. #9
    Tech Guru IznremiX's Avatar
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    very solid points

    although at the same time, i think that your average non-producers djs (not big names), don't necessarily feel inclined to be creative either and quite frankly I'm not sure why.
    Last edited by IznremiX; 10-01-2012 at 05:29 PM.
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    Tech Guru zimfella's Avatar
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    What ever happened to good old track selection. Yeah there's guys pulling tricks and all but generally their tunes they choose aren't great imho.
    It's not the gear. It's how you use it.
    limitations are the source of creativity.
    If you don't practice you don't want it.

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