BPM 2012: 6 Things We Learned At The Show

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Last updated 21 August, 2014

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Read the six things we learned from the BPM show this year.

One of the best bits about going to DJ shows, such as the BPM Show 2012 that’s just ended, is gauging the mood of the public and the exhibitors, spotting what’s busy and what isn’t, and trying to get a feel for both the current state of play in DJing, and what might be just around the corner.

In-between product demos, meetings and seminars, we made it our mission to be visible and available to as many of our readers “on the floor” as possible. As always, we feel staying close to you guys is the most important thing we can do, and a show is the perfect time to do just that. What you said, alongside discussions with industry peeps had in the bars, cafes and car parks (well, the smokers have got to smoke somewhere…), has informed this list of trends from BPM 2012.

6 things we learned from BPM 2012

  1. iPads will be a force within 12 months. We called this one early, but the iPads are arriving. They’re creeping in already at the edges (Pioneer Rekordbox wirelessly connected to the XDJ-AERO, Denon’s Engine software for its SC2900/SC3900 range, the Vestax Spin2, the Numark iDJ Pro), but believe us, there will be iPad perched behind many DJ controllers by this time next year, instead of laptops
  2. There are no more great leaps to come for controllers. If you’ve been holding off buying a controller because you think there’s something big around the corner, don’t worry – go and spend. What’s currently available covers everything you’re likely to find on a DJ controller for the foreseeable future. See point 1 above – it’s what you use with your controller that’ll take all the manufacturer’ attention in the next 12 months. If you want to use a laptop, buy now and be safe in the knowledge that your controller will remain relevant. Maybe worth checking it’s class compliant though, just in case the iPad bug bites you…
  3. Lighting and PA gear is getting smarter, smaller and cheaper. PA companies were there in force and we saw some smart, portable set-ups that are really suited to digital DJing, both in terms of portability and features (there’s a group test coming up soon on the website). Meanwhile, LED lighting from the likes of Chauvet and American DJ is again small, smart and technologically advanced, with the iPad as a control surface being one theme we spotted. It’s never been cheaper to own your own rig
  4. Scratching is still the best way to show off. Ask your girlfriend to pretend to be a DJ, and she’ll put her hand to one ear as if to hold he headphone cup, and do a little scratch with the other hand – right? Scratching is fundamental to how the public understands DJs, and the stands with the biggest crowds wee invariably those where scratch performances went on. These tended to be Rane (showing off their mixers and Serato Scratch Live), Denon, Native Instruments, and Numark, who were showcasing how easy it is to scratch well on the iDJ Pro with iPad
  5. Early 2013 is going to be very interesting…. There’s lots of clues above about what is coming next, but one thing’s for sure – there’s lots of it coming! We were told by several companies about plans for early next year (coinciding with the NAMM and Musikmesse music/DJ shows), and suffice to say we’ll be pretty busy bringing it all to you in Q1 2013…
  6. Digital DJs want to learn. Few things exasperate me more than tired, closed-minded, frustrated “purist” DJs bemoaning how today’s generation of digital DJs don’t care about the craft, and don’t want to get good at DJing. The seminars – be they production, remixing, “traditional” DJ skills like handling a crowd and being an entertainer, or stuff right on the edge such as creative ways to use Traktor’s Remix Sets – were all packed to the gills. Make no mistake, cynical whingers, the new generation want to learn, and they’re coming to get you – unless you realise there’s loads of fun to be had with new gear and techniques, and that the water’s warm, that is…

Finally…

What took our team and me aback completely was how many of our readers there were there! From sideways “don’t I know you?” glances to full-on “hi guys, I’m _______ on the forum”-type chats, we got to speak personally with more of you than at any show before – definitely into the hundreds.

It was great to see you, and if you’re at all able to make it to BPM 2013 (and that goes for our stateside readers too – it’s worth the effort…), please say hello! We’ll be the ones always looking like we’re late for something, with video gear in our hands, and our usual big, bright “digital DJ Tips” T-shirts on…

Were you one of the readers whom we were lucky enough to meet in person at BPM? If you were there, what were your overall impressions of the show, the state of DJing, and where it’s all going? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments…