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Vinyl Fetish

I keep thinking about what it means to adopt digital techniques to DJ. The whole thing started when I was watching my buddy Wilson spin records one night at the Balcony. It's fun to watch what DJ's do. I was speculating out loud --I told a few of the people standing around that you could do the same thing (or something similar) using a computer. This was soundly dissed by everyone. One thing that was said was that you need to have that tacile thing happening in order to do the DJ thing. Certainly it would be easier to get people to understand what I was doing if I did it like everybody else. The thing that interests me as a digital DJ though is exploring and finding the things that you can't do analog style. Maybe that's a negative way of putting it. What I mean is I want to explore the digital realm. Obviously the rules have changed a great deal. The entire music industry is coming to grips with what it means to be digital. I'm not dissing turntablism. I think it's great and I really dig a lot of the music that is made that way.

I had a discussion with Foster about this the other night. He had just seen that movie "Scratch". He was telling me that some years back he had a roommate that was a DJ and that this lead to a never ending stream of international DJs and non stop partying happening at his house. He also echoed the remarks of those before, saying that you needed some tactile thing happening in order to provide the experience. I think he is right --some work on the interface is needed. On the other hand it makes me wonder if it's not somewhat akin to what it was like when the first cars came on the scene. I can imagine some guy standing in the mud in front of his car turning the crank to start it. People gallop by on horseback (splashing mud on him.) They're laughing at him. He's shaking his fist and yelling: "just you wait until there's a paved road here!" Maybe that guy never drove on the Autobahn, but those horse never will...

┐michael?|68.64.152.29|preterosso@adelphia.net|http://preterosso.mine.nu/|0|3|24|2002|11|14|48|PM|The age thang and the turntable thang is for the birds. You can do it. You have the young attitude. I think that the Djs all would be amazed by what you are doing. sunil|65.208.137.206|||1|3|25|2002|1|56|0|PM|here's a lik fyi: http://www.audiotools.co.uk/ah/vinyl.shtml chris|218.47.30.216|chris@tokyotales.com|http://www.tokyotales.com/blog/|2|3|26|2002|12|32|17|AM|You might be interested in some Dutch (?) software called Final Scratch, as used by Richie Hawtin and a few others. It uses vinyl records with time-tracks rather than audio tracks engraved on them. The decks' output goes into a laptop which carries as many MP3s as you can squeeze on to it, any of which can be assigned to either deck and manipulated like standard vinyl. I've seen Hawtin do this using a Sony Vaio laptop and it sounded seamless.

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/25/technology/25JOCK.html?ex=1005022800&en=e44cc9fc394f55b6&ei=5040&partner=MOREOVER Monkisean!|64.236.243.243|||2|3|26|2002|3|12|49|PM|There is a lot of space to explore within the digital realm. The key is not trying to appeal to those that don't understand it's potential. Just keep doing what you are doing. Personally I think they both have their place.

I just went to a show last week and watched Panacea whip out his powerbook, and sit it on top of one of the tables, plug it into the mixer, and mix between the laptop and the 1200. People were going nuts, and no a sole cared that it was being played of the computer.

I would say make it more theatrical! Might as well have fun while everyone is watching you watch your screens.

Reminds me of everyone screaming when Mu-Ziq took a sip of water after pushing buttons for 10 mins or so. :O) I thought it was halarious.

-Sean ModuLR John|192.168.0.2||http://kacked.com|3|3|27|2002|5|31|31|AM|That Final Scratch software is very interesting. I remember reading that article (and some others) back in October. There are a couple things about it that make me question whether I could get much use out of it:

  1. $20,000 (I think)

  2. it's a way of making it so you can use digital media in an "analog way"

For someone that cut their teeth mixing records it's a great thing. Plus any club you go in is going to be setup for mixing records, and I think most crowds might be disappointed if they didn't see that. We can speculate about that but it has been one of my concerns. Once when I DJ'ed a women came up to me after I had been doing it for several hours and said: "Oh! you're DJ'ing!" It's just not clear to people what I'm doing. I'm concerned about the showmanship aspect of it. Using something like Final Scratch would make it clearer to people what I was doing since they are familar with DJ's that spin records. So in that regard it would be a pretty good thing.

I asked Anthony to get some pictures of my DJ'ing. He'll take a few shots everytime I do it now. I was looking through some of the pictures he had taken and laughing because some of them just show me standing in front of the computer. I told him: "Don't take a picture unless I've got my hands on something" The mixer, keyboard or mouse. It's hard to see me as "doing something" since people are used to seeing records being manipulated --they know what that's about...

Still, I'm interested in exploring the things you can't do with vinyl. What does it mean to DJ digitally? One example would be that digital media has it's associated metadata. In the case of MP3s that would be the song title, artist, album and comments. The BPM and cue points that I use are stored in the comments. It's possible then to display this information while the song is being played.

I fell like I'm not really expressing what I want to get across. Head is a little foggy. I've been sick a couple days now. I'll probably post some more on this when I can think straight...



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