Gear, Polls

DJ Poll: Vinyl or Digital?

The past couple of years have been a volatile time in the DJ world. TurntableThe technology is changing rapidly and many DJs who had once been hardcore vinyl-only-heads have made the switch to using digital DJ tools like Serato Scratch Live. Of course some DJs have been spinning with digital tools like CDJs etc. for years, and some combine everything at their disposal, using all available technologies equally. We’re curious; what’s your preference?

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Update: Ripley has written a related article over at Wiretap.org:

Spun Around
Digital innovations have turned the vinyl-centric deejay world around. But is life in a “Serato” world really better?

15 thoughts on “DJ Poll: Vinyl or Digital?

  1. nowadays its still lots of vinyl but there is a big rush to the digital stuff, especially the cdj’s and the final scratch / rane scratch live / m-audio torq.

    These digital options getting cheaper and cheaper (check deckadance.com and mspinky.com e.g.) and i think its for a good reason, i’ve seen tittsworth lately bringing the serato to its maximum. 100 tunes in 1 1/2 hour, to be honest, this is pretty much impossible with real vinyls. ive seen lady waks using the cdjs as a sampler whilst using real vinyls for playing the tunes, what a neat idea. i think the digital development is a good one, you can see labels as dutty dubs for example which bring realeses through online shops. high quality sound which would have taken years if it would has been distributed the old fashioned ways. all this new music globalisation is driven through the internet at such fast speed, analog music is imho not suitable for such a fast changing market.

  2. Why is this even still an issue…Who Cares,
    Play the music, thats it, just play the music…

    Who says you wont be sitting in a club when vinyl has finally supposively died and still getting shivers when an old geezer gets up and smashes all the old presses we’ve all forgotton about and used to love as prepubesent audiophiles

    Medium irralivent, respect tha artist ya!

  3. SdC,
    I guess we could have called the “Vinyl” category “Analog” but it just wouldn’t have the same impact. All you cassette and reel-to-reel DJs out there, feel free to vote in the “Vinyl” category.

  4. It’s interesting how adoption of various technologies varies by subculture (although I think it’s converging ). My first hand experience, amoung drum and bass folks here it went from being die-hard vinyl users, to trying out finalscratch, to using mostly CDJs. Hiphop djs are big on serato, but some are vinyl till they die. The “indie” type djs seem to have the strange combination of using only vinyl…and ipods. Amoung the play anything skilled older djs, serato seems to be the way to go. But the younger doods seem to be forgoing any turntables and using tracktor, live or some other digital tool.

    Like people said…honestly it doesn’t matter all that much to me – it’s about the end result.

  5. At the end of the day I’m with the other folks here: it’s all just music, damn it! But for me personally I tried to go digital and found it hard to mentally keep track of what music I had. Maybe I am going senial in my late 20s but I switched back to vinyl and found it much easier to find what I am looking for. It could also be the volume I work with. I have around 3,000 records, 600 of which 45s, and aside from 45s they are alphabetized in small groups loosely by genre.

    I know it sounds backwards but this seems easier for me to sort through then having that many mp3s on a computer. One theory I have is that my memory functions probably rely on visual imagery to pinpoint where something is. If I don’t remember the name I often can conjure up the record cover and that gets me at least to the “genre” area in my shelves.

    Oh, I also like the feeling of throwing a 45 on a bubble adapter while mixing 🙂

  6. you know my steez. and I’m interested, because I like to know what other people who dj are doing. It may or may not affect the audience experience. But I think I dj differently because I spin with mp3s.

    C, did I tell you the article I wrote on this issue came out? check here: http://wiretapmag.org/arts/43298/

  7. Kumar makes a good point about the look of the records labels/sleeves, and the feel of slapping down a 7-inch on the platter having a visceral effect. I also had a hard time getting used to scrolling through lists of meta-data rather than flipping through a crate to find “that one with the blue jacket.”

    But like Cutups mentions, kids coming up didn’t start DJing during an era in which turntables were the best option. They’ve grown up playing with computers and I’m sure they’ll be amazing at DJing without turntables. For that matter, I wouldn’t be surprised if computers get pretty good at DJing without people before too long.

    In the meantime, it’d be nice to see some better searching features built into programs like Serato. Apple’s Cover Flow feature in iTunes for example would be a great addition to DJ software. Shit! What if Apple finally included pitch-bending and cross-fading into iTunes?

  8. i also run over the mp3 name problem, ove the years i figured some nice ways out. ive created .txt files for the different gernes i play. these tetfiles include are seperated into subgernes as i have a dubstep text file. i put subgenre wobble, dark, reggae crazy, grimey etc in it, so i kow which tunes to drop to get into a sepcial direction. all tunes i like in any kind of way are in this subgenres with artist name and track name, more than this i put special infos on the end of it like, known from some mix or nice guitar sound or sthg like this. this works very well for all types of music i mix.
    about the way kis grow, i started playing with a hercules dj console and traktor and switched to real turntables and a real mixer then to have the right vinyl feeling etc….

  9. not to imply any holier than thou bullshit, but i stopped buying and supporting vinyl because of how horrible it is for the environment.
    http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/footer/search?q=PVC
    though i do use serrato. i think buying 2 pvc plates is better than 5,000. someday we’ll phase that out and use something better. (awaiting consumer demand for the greener dj.)
    and of course, vermin st will be an all digital media label.

  10. For me, good music is the most important thing. When I go to see a dj play, I really don´t care about the format, I prefer to enjoy what I´m listening. When I´m djing, I use both vinyl and cds. I have lots of digital music, wich I like to play fresh. The best tracks i play, the ones that I really really like and I find really good and timeless, I buy on vinyl. I don´t care about money or time or effort. I love wasting my time looking for a hard to find vinyl. I love visiting record shops when travelling. And I love my vinyl collection. It´s about filtering all the music in my computer and select just the cream, and give a track the importance it deserves. But, at the end of the day, what i flip with is a good song. Good music… ooooooh yeeeeeeaaahhhhhhh…. any format.

  11. every tune i mix or play is on vinyl. thers summat exclusive about it. we can put anything in digital format music, photos, videos, etc. but vinyl is meant for one thing only and thats music worth the effort of pressing. im not slating mp3 or cd djs out ther. just for me its vinyl till i die.

  12. Indie & Oldskool Rave DJ’s will always play vinyl because they understand that no form of digital recording can or ever will be able to reproduce true sine waves (which is what real guitars and most analogue synth basslines are).
    All these digital DJ’s are shooting themselves in the foot, because the more digital mixing gets established, the nearer we are to clubs just programming the whole nights music and using a computer to auto-mix it ‘live’, then there will be no such thing as a ‘real’ DJ !

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