At the end of last year we conducted our first annual reader survey. Last week we published part 1 of the results, and this week we’re publishing the rest – including what gear you own, what other websites you visit, and what you think of us! Also, as there was a lot of interest last week in the types of music our readers play, we’ve got more of that information for you. And finally, we’ll announce the winner of the US$50 iTunes card. Read on for all the results…
1. Your favourite gear
As part of the survey we asked you to tell us all about your DJ set-up. It took quite a while to sort through the 100s of set-ups you told us about in order to come up with these stats, but here they are. (By the way, while a minority of you have analogue DJing gear – traditional DJ mixers, CDJ players, turntables – we are currently a 100% digital blog, so we’ve concentrated on the digital gear here.)
DJ Midi controllers:
Traktor is out front, with more of you owning the X1 and S4 than any other controllers – a fantastic result seeing both were only launched recently. The immensely popular Hercules DJ Console RMX has stood the test of time, and it’s no surprise that both the Vestax (VCI-100 and VCI-300) and Numark (Mixtrack and Mixtrack Pro) controllers are popular too – we get a lot of interest on the blog around all of these models. However, there are plenty of Torq users (both Xponent and the cheaper X-Session Pro), and plenty of you also DJ with the seriously full-sized Numark NS7. At the other end of the spectrum, the tiny Stanton SCS3 system has won a place in many of your hearts. Our large number of Ableton Live users is reflected in the fact that the Akai APC40 is also right up there, too.
General Midi controllers:
Many of you like to add an extra Midi devices to your set-up. The Novation Launchpad is the most popular, again reflecting the large number of Ableton Live DJs we seem to have in our audience. The diminutive Akai LPD8 is also a well-used unit, and a little lower down, more traditional Midi controllers (BCD2000, Trigger Finger, NanoKONTROL) jostle for your attention alongside DJ-specific controllers like the Midi Fighter and Novation Dicers.
Among those of you who use sound cards, the standard “my controller needs a sound card to work!”-type devices are unsurprisingly top of the pile, namely the ubiquitous Numark DJIO and NI Audio 2 DJ. The rest of the cards in your home studios are all more complex models, which sit at the heart of DJ set-ups that need more than the standard ins/outs. Of these, the Native Instruments models lead the pack.
It’s a 2-horse race in the Midi keyboard department, with Korg and M-Audio dominating this part of your gear. You tend to prefer keyboards with reasonable sized keys and a bit more than basic functionality – although it’s interesting to see the tiny and innovative Korg NanoKEY has made its way into many of your set-ups.
2. Your views on Digital DJ Tips
You were kind enough to give us plenty of feedback about the blog. While we’re not going to publish individual comments, we have rest assured read and thought about every single one – thanks you! Here are the general trends:
Things you like about Digital DJ Tips
- Lots of material for beginners
- Lots of help in choosing what gear to buy
- Well thought out, constructive, objective articles
- Good for understanding digital DJing
- Good broader DJing skills articles
- Help with organising music, making mix tapes and getting gigs
Things you don’t like
- Too much material for beginners
- The articles on what to do with old vinyl and CDs
- Big round-ups without much detail in them
- Digital vs vinyl debate
- Not enough video
- Archives not organised very well
This is our first year, and your feedback has been immensely useful to us. We agree with many of your points. We are working as fast as we can to write proper reviews of all the gear that’s out there. We are aware that as we’re in a “blog” format, some great material falls into the archives really fast – we’re working on ways of making everything easier to find. Getting the right mix of material for beginners and more advanced DJs is a hard task – we are determined to provide all the stuff beginners need, but hopefully in our interviews (we are doing more of these), and tutorials (again, we are preparing more) we can teach advanced techniques too.
Finally, our Sunday articles – round-ups, save the vinyl etc – are not, it seems, particularly popular! These are light, fast articles designed to give you (and us) a bit of a break from the more serious stuff. We hear you, though – we’ll look at what we can do differently on a Sunday that may be more useful to you. As soon as we can find worthy replacements, we’ll make these changes. Your suggestions welcome!
3. Other websites you like
You told us literally hundreds of websites that you like to hang around on. Not surprisingly, the DJ technology sites are popular with you, DJ TechTools and Skratchworx being among your favourite websites. The more general, big DJ sites, such as Europe’s Resident Advisor and Australia’s In The Mix appear high in your lists, and among the forums, DJ Forums and the manufacturer-specific Native Instruments and Serato forums are particularly popular.
4. More on types of music you play
As we said earlier, the information about your styles of music got a lot of interest last week, so we though we’d let you a bit deeper into your replies.
We learned last week that house, pop and hip hop are the main styles of music you play. But that’s only half the story. We also gave you the chance to name any other styles of music you play that weren’t in the 14 we mentioned. Turns out that we’ve got DJs who play a huge range of genres!
- Many of our reader play different styles of Latin/Caribbean music, including reggae, soca, reggaeton, merengue, salsa and Cumbia
- Plenty of you play guitar/industrial music, too, with several 60s/garage rock, dance/punk, indie-tronic, industrial/goth, and EBM DJs among you
- As far as the more underground EDM styles go, we have readers who name Baltimore club, psytrance/dark psy and fidget house as their preferred genres, although tech and minimal house are your predominant sub-genres of dance
- Along more traditional DJ lines, several of you are electro-swing, nu-funk and jazz DJs
- Reflecting our worldwide readership, we have several Bollywood DJs, and even one reader who predominantly plays Turkish pop…
As several of you pointed out in your comments last week, at the end of the day there’s simply “good music” and “bad music”; maybe it’s good to end this section on the words of one DJ who says: “I play all good music, from big band to today.”
5. Competition winner…
Finally, of course, there was a draw made at random out of all of you who filled in the survey to win US$50-worth of iTunes vouchers. The winner is Adam Leggett of Vancouver, Canada. Well done, Adam!
Did anything surprise you about these results? Have you got anything you’d like to add? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.