Whats the deal with CDJs?
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  1. #1
    Tech Mentor ConnectControl's Avatar
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    Default Whats the deal with CDJs?

    Aside from the obvious fact that they're still the industry standard in clubs, which I get... Whats the appeal? For instance why would a new DJ go for the vastly bulkier and more expensive CDJs with an external mixer over say an all in one digital controller?

  2. #2
    Tech Mentor arsman's Avatar
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    Cdj appeals to a certain group just like the turntables appeal scratch djs. Its a matter of preference. Plus. You'll have familiarity with the gear when you play in clubs.
    Pizza | Coke | Burger | Fries | Milkshake
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    And you don't have to drag a laptop around.
    http://www.mixcloud.com/Olsgaard/
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    Tech Guru Kwal's Avatar
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    And they're big and fun to play with, kinda like my… Nvm.

    CDJ's #juan

  5. #5
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    The deal is that DJ booths are small, so when you have more than 1 artist playing on a night you don't want to switch up different settings. Easiest would be to just insert your USB's or SD's and take over. Another point is; DJ's should be able to DJ by listening. Most new DJ's who start out DJ'ing don't do this by listening but by visualizing through their screens. They see whether tracks are matched or not. The actual sound doesn't matter anymore. That is becoming a bigger and bigger problem.

    Yeah you can buy a car with an automatic transmission, but you still did have to learn how to shift gears manually, right? (ok, maybe not in the US you lazy bastards, but for most parts of the world they have I suppose )

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    Tech Guru johney's Avatar
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    because they're quite reliable and hassle free

  7. #7
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    I learnt on a Mixtrack Pro (still have that at home), but I use CDJs at clubs. It doesn't matter what you use at home, the principle of DJing is always the same.

  8. #8
    Tech Wizard
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    Also if you like manual beat matching it feels much easier on CDJ's rather than say an S2, I can beatmatch well on CDJ's but cannot for the life of me on a controller.

  9. #9
    Tech Guru ImNotDedYet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Student View Post
    Another point is; DJ's should be able to DJ by listening. Most new DJ's who start out DJ'ing don't do this by listening but by visualizing through their screens. They see whether tracks are matched or not. The actual sound doesn't matter anymore. That is becoming a bigger and bigger problem.
    This.

    As one who was recently bitten by the vinyl mixing bug, I've learned so much more about music and the music I like and am mixing at the moment because I'm forced to listen not only to beat match but also to get the music phrased correctly. Yeah, it's hella harder, even then I imagined because I "knew the concepts" but it 1) makes you appreciate people who DJ this way 2) gets you more in touch with the music you're spinning and 3) makes you a much better DJ IMO.

    I recently had a discussion with a friend about a mix she'd done where she brought in the new song on the third measure of the 8 measure "musical phrase" which just sounded off to me. I explained this to her and she couldn't grasp it because it was beat matched, (she uses sync) so I had to step-by-step explain to her musical phrasing. So she finally figured it out, said she'd been listening to mixes on soundcloud while actually counting the beats now (which I tried to explain to her deaf ears when she first began mixing) and is amazed at the differences musical phrasing makes. And phrasing is just one example...knowing your songs inside and out helps immensely as well. While cue points, loops, etc can be done on some CDJs, not all of them and certainly not vinyl.

  10. #10
    Tech Convert
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    Reasons why someone would want CDJs + external mixer over an all-in-one:

    - Wants to be used to them for playing out. The better you know the gear the more second nature things become. Not really required, as you can learn to use them pretty quick if you play out enough, but it can be helpful, especially if you don't have a vinyl beat matching background.

    - Wants to use an external mixer. This is the biggest reason to use them in my opinion. No piece of gear gives me greater joy in mixing then a great sounding mixer with excellent ergonomics. I still haven't seen any controllers with great mixing sections, or even what I'd consider good ones, and I definitely haven't heard any with great sound quality. I'm picky about my mixers, and I want what I love playing on for mixing. While I'm obviously going to play on whatever mixer is at a gig, for events that I throw (I've been throwing parties for 15 years), I want MY mixer. While this doesn't mean you have to use CDJs in your home setup, assuming you are using software there aren't that many single deck controllers out there with great pitch adjust controls (needed to learn how to manually beat match when you play on CDJs) and tight software integration allowing easy beat matching (ie most use MIDI which doesn't allow high pitch resolution). However, you can use you CDJs as controllers - the older models through DVS systems and the newer Pioneers direct via Midi (in which case also practice with regular CDs so you learn beat matching) or HID (gives you the pitch resolution you need for manual beat matching using software).

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