So, the second part of the title refers to the transition back to CDJs, mixers, and TTs while ditching controllers. Just the question makes me laugh and I can’t even believe that I asked and am writing about this. Why? This obviously is NEVER going to happen and I will never give controllers up. (Also, I just shelled a couple thousand for the Pioneer DDJ-SZ so I would also feel of bad if I ever thought it was a waste – which I know it is NOT!)
Ok, so this is why. As previously explained in part 1 of this blog post (read it here), as long as a DJ is versatile and can adapt to any DJ equipment or software put in front of him/her, then controllers should not be a problem. I think that they are great if the right one is chosen. The SZ, for example, is very similar to the DJM900 mixer and a pair of CDJs which is pretty much club standard at most large clubs which will allow for me to easily adapt to that equipment. It has two sound cards, it’s an all-in-one, has metal construction, etc. (Read more here.) There is no one I know who would not be impressed by this controller. It’s just awesome.
Unfortunately, some DJs and club owners are just so fixated on the equipment they were trained on and for many, that may be a pair of TTs. I really don’t think there is anything wrong with that and TTs provide great advantages. However, I think that those who are against controllers have got to get with the program! Times are changing and technology improves guys. If anything, should one ban computers, CDJs should be banned/disliked, too. CDJs are in fact “mini” computers that have the same features as a computer without the actual shape of a laptop.
Frankly, I am tired of DJs and other individuals in the industry bashing each other for being “elitist” or “snobs” just because one uses a pair of TTs or CDJs and a DJM or Rane 68 or a “fake” for using a controller. Does driving an automatic car vs. a manual/stick mean that someone is not a real driver? Does a Benz or a BMW get you somewhere differently than would a Toyota? Obviously not! A controller does the same job as would TTs or CDJs. With that being said, it is important to choose quality over what’s the new fad. I recently wrote about the Denon MCX8000 versus the Pioneer DDJ-SZ (read here). In short, although the MCX8000 is stand-alone and has certain features the SZ does not, I believe that the SZ beats the MCX in terms of build and sound quality which is important to please a client while DJing. I find effects to be artificial while knowing how and having the option to use a high-quality controller is more important.
As I explained in the MCX8000/DDJ-SZ blog post, there is a cool factor associated with TTs and CDJs that most controllers do not have. Clients/party-goers may notice a DJ that is using turntables vs. CDJs vs. controllers and be more “impressed” by the TT/CDJ DJ. Aside from that, I think that DJs should just be able to use what they want and whatever they are most comfortable with so that they can perform to the best of their ability – but ONLY IF they know how to use what is placed in front of them in the case that they can’t use the equipment they use on a day-to-day basis.
I hope I was able to convince you towards the latter but what do you think: Still in favour for the TTs/CDJs + Mixer combo or are controllers “ok?”
–DJ Mocha Love (DJML)