There has been an age old debate continuuing since 1996 when Pioneer released its first CDJ. It began as Vinyl vs. CD. This later turned into Vinyl vs. MP3. In the late 2000's this turned into Turntable/DVS vs CDJ/Media Player. Somehow this has evolved into Turntables/CDJ's/Media Players vs. Controllers.
I started with vinyl back in 1999. Eventually turntables faded away and CDJ's replaced them as the industry standard. I went from lugging around 60 records everywhere, to lugging around 60 records, a DVS setup, and two turntables. To preface, I never had any issue hooking up my turntables at any venue or event. The promoters and club owners were always cool with it. Maybe it had something to do with the Nostalgia that Turntables brought to the table.
After not deejaying for about ten months, I have recently started to play out again. In that time, I saw a great increase in creative flow by utilizing the same midi controllers I used for production with DJ software. Wow, this is why Ean, Carl Cox, and others have gone the controller route.
My first gig playing with just midi was a blast. It was way less setup to plug in my soundcard and gear than it was to set up my turntables. Let alone everything fit into a backpack.
On to the article.
I caught word that some local promoters are not allowing people with controllers to plug in. Instead, they are saying, the DJ must perform on their CDJ/XDJ setup or not play at all. Being in Vegas, we get to see some huge names play in our clubs. Almost half of which use controllers. I wondered to myself, if those headliners were to play for these promoters, would the promoters tell them not to plug in their hardware?
So, I dug into this more and inquired with friends in multiple scenes across the country. It was surprising to hear this is common practice. The most common excuse is it adds complication to switching DJ's. What is so complicated with plugging in an RCA cable and a power cord? Nothing is complicated about it whatsoever.
Some booths are very tight in space. Man what a miracle..... 15 years ago, someone thought to start selling laptop stands. Who'da thunk it (excuse my poor english)..... They are strong enough to hold up most controllers as well. Now that you can literally hover your setup above the equipment, space is not an issue.
The argument of setup time came up as well. Then I thought back to my turntable days. Now I could setup two turntables, an Audio 10 (total of 6 RCA's, power cord, and USB), an X1, a Launchpad, and my laptop without causing any interruptions to the previous DJ and the flow of the night. I would simply keep my closing tune on CD and thumb drive and let it play while I tore my setup back down.
So aside from a bias against controller DJ's, we can't figure out why using a controller is an issue. So I probed more. The general consensus seemed to be a hatred of the sync button. That's pretty laughable considering the CDJ 900 Nexus, both XDJ's, and the CDJ 2000 all have sync buttons.
So promoters here is the reason I switched to controllers. I have access to all four decks and sampler no matter which equipment is on hand. I have access to 2tb worth of music to choose from (including all of my 1600 records that were converted to digital). I can access all 8 hotcues for each deck. I can view the waveform (just like I used the grooves on a vinyl record to see where my breakdowns and buildups were). I can hotkey all my loops.
Now if you can find a reason not covered here, please comment or shoot me an e-mail. I would love to hear your rebuttles. If it has something to do with new controllerists not knowing how to hook up, etc.... than educate yourself and help them. It is after all your event. ;)