Reader Discofil writes: “I started DJing as 13-year-old with CDs on a (first the Denon 2100F then Pioneer CDJ1000s). That was 11 years ago – now I DJ with a Traktor Kontrol S4 and an X1. That is the short story of my DJ career, at least as far as my gear goes! But here’s my dilemma. Every weekend (or every other weekend, at least) I play at clubs here in Norway and I carry around my S4 in a really heavy flight case, and one backpack full of stuff. I have to arrive minimum 45 minutes before my gigs to set up the Mac, S4, check sound from the S4, check the other DJ gear that I am hooking up to and so on.”
“The thing is, today played at my friend’s house with his two CDJ2000s and one DJM900 and my music on some SD cards – and I loved it! I haven’t beatmixed like that for ages. As all the clubs I play for have CDJ2000 with a DJM2000 or 900, my question is: Why do I even bother dragging a controller out with me when I just can take my headphones and some SD cards and go play? I am a DJ, not a producer. I don’t make music, I play music. Please convince me to keep playing digital!”
Digital DJ Tips says:
One of the benefits of digital for me is portability and the ability to “play anywhere”. If your gear has grown to be less portable, and all the venues have gear you’re happy to play on, that removes that benefit!
Frankly, although this is a digital DJing website, we’re not blinkered – if you’re happy playing from SD card on CDJs, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go down that route. Indeed, our own D-Jam does something similar: He loves his digital stuff, but if he’s playing a short set, he just takes a pack of CDs out with him and uses the club’s gear.
I think the ideal (something that you – having started on CDs – already have) is to be able to do both; to use whatever equipment happens to be in front of you. DJs should be able to roll up and rock it on everything from djay on their iPhone (in the hotel room) to four CDJs and a hardware-FX-ridden mixer (in the club’s main room).
Can you offer some further advice to our reader? Have you flirted between CDJs and fully digital gear? Do you play on both? Please share your thoughts in the comments.