As long as I can remember, DJing has been filled with snobbery. Hip-hop turntablists hatin’ on the dance beatmix guys, dance guys hatin’ on the indie guys, everyone hatin’ on the mobile guys, then vinyl over CDs, then CDs over digital (I know CDs are digital, but you know what I mean), and now the new breed of software haters. It even seems among the digital guys, the DVS users look down on the controllerists, the controllerists look down on the laptoppers and even the MacBook Pro guys scoff at the PC brigade. Enough!
I love the whole world of digital music production and performance. Back in the day I could spend a Monday morning at the record shop listening to new releases. Now that production software is readily accessible and cheap / free, I could spend all week lost in SoundCloud alone, let alone Addictech, Beatport, Juno and so on. The choice is endless, meaning individuality is easier than ever.
I have heard seasoned DJs bitch that it is much easier to DJ using modern tools, which is true, but the basics remain, as they always have done.
- Creativity is creativity – We all have access to these tools, so the playing field is level if you want it to be (or are prepared to get off your high horse). You can’t buy creativity from Serato or NI
- Experience is experience – No matter how good someone is in their bedroom, they might still lose it in a live scenario. No substitute for experience, and it sure is a leg-up when looking for gigs
- The cream will always rise to the top – If you’re good, you’ll get gigs and people will come back for more. Using software is not cheating in any sense. You are an entertainer, and if you entertain, you are doing a good job
If I play to a room of 99% happy punters and 1% elitist snobs, frankly I couldn’t care less – I’m doing my job. Digital DJing in all its wonderful variants is here to stay. In many ways it’s a lot more interesting than “industry standards” like 1210s or CDJs. When I see a DJ doing a digital set, I always want to have a look around his set-up – the permutations nowadays are mind-boggling.
Isn’t it time we all embraced all the variants, and encouraged rather than scoffed? Vive la différence!
• Gordon Anderson is a Digital DJ Tips reader and a fan of the Digital DJ Tips Facebook Page, where this article first appeared.
Have you encountered any of these kinds of DJ snobbery? Have you been guilty of snbobbery yourself? Do you think it’s ever justified? Please share your thoughts in the comments.