Ask a DJ

May 1, 2008

JUST THE THOUGHT of hauling a few heavyweight crates to a gig can cause back pain, so a lot of DJs breathed sighs of relief when new software let them mix MP3s like they were vinyl. But while cutting and scratching with a computer is convenient, there's still something to be said for the feeling of a dusty groove under your fingertips. Here's what a couple DJs had to say about how using a graphic interface has changed their space.

E-Jay spins at parties and clubs for Play: LA promotions, and is a member of Southern California's Evolution DJs.

I don't have to carry five crates of records for a gig, I just bring vinyl that I know I'll play for the night. Still, nothing beats that tangible feeling of holding that vinyl, hearing that crackly, analog sound. On certain gigs, I'll bring three or four crates of records and go strictly vinyl just to change it up. Serato has made things very convenient, more accessible and easier to do live remixing and tricks, but I still like mixing vinyl. There's a lot to be said for only working with the limitations of what you have.

Mixmaster DJ Yonny mixes on-air at New York's Pulse 87.7 FM. He plays at clubs throughout New York City and New Jersey several nights a week.

The style is real quick out here. You've got to move from record to record real fast and change songs every 60 seconds. Using the laptop helps you do that quicker. You just scroll through your playlist. Take too long to do anything out here and the crowd gets impatient. If you're lame, they've got no problem letting you know. People don't wanna hear a lot of the tricks you might be practicing at home. It's about the crowd, not you.

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