Laptops In DJ Booths: Yes Or No?


Richie Hawtin, Zedd, Paul Van Dyk... gee, guess they aren't "showcasing their creativity" since they've got laptops in the booth while they DJ... oh, and they're not using "industry standard" CDJs, too!

Got a laptop? You're not welcome as a DJ in one of LA's clubs, something the owner has made very clear in a Facebook rant that has triggered a fierce debate over on social media around whether he's right or not. The owner is veteran DJ/producer Kenny Summit, and the club is Cure & The Cause. Read on for his full rant and our opinion...

The statement from Kenny Summit

No more laptops in the DJ booth. Unless you're using it to control vinyl to do a turntablist type of set, a la Jazzy Jeff type shit, or if you're doing a live thing where you're actually programming shit on the fly. Keep your controller in your crib, don't come to work with training wheels. Learn the tools of the trade already. Pioneer isn't going anywhere any time soon, they are the industry standard, so brush up on how to use the CDJs already, get Rekordbox (it's free) and buy a good USB stick for $40 that will store thousands of hours of music on it. We opened this place to showcase talent. So, show us your talent.

What we think

Jeez, I really don't know where to start with this kind of lazy ignorance. (It's not like we haven't been here before.)

So Jazzy Jeff is OK using what he wants, but you, lesser DJ, aren't. (And by the way, just for the record timecode vinyl controls software, not the other way around). So if you're "actually programming shit on the fly", you can bring your laptop and controller, but if you're not, you can't. Oh, and if you're too stupid to realise a USB stick will hold thousands of tracks, then it's your fault for wanting to bring those tracks on your laptop instead. And didn't you know Rekordbox is free anyway? Sheesh, kids today!

Come and showcase your talent, sure, we love talent here. Just do it on exactly the gear we put in front of you, no exceptions. Except Jazzy Jeff. Erm, and programmers.

OK. One rant frankly deserved another. Let's step back for a second. Of course, it's not hard to see where Kenny's coming from. He presumably doesn't like people rearranging his DJ booth, plugging stuff in and unplugging other stuff, making a mess of things. He doesn't like people who are incompetent controlling the music in his club. He dreams of the day when everyone he books is super-experienced, super-talented, the finished article, and they all rock up to play from USB on a pair of CDJs. Wouldn't life be so simple then?

Wake up fella! Quite apart from the fact that (I would humbly suggest) his budget probably doesn't doesn't stretch to exclusively booking DJs who have all been playing on CDJs since year zero and have no special gear requests or complications, the fact is that while "tools of the trade" work for plumbing, they don't work for music. Everyone doing the same stuff on the same type of kit leads to boring DJ sets - doesn't matter in the slightest whether that kit is controllers or CDJs, of course. Surely the truth is that creatively, it's absolutely not the gear the DJ uses, but what they do with it?


Richie Hawtin responds on Twitter to this.

Imagine telling musicians they could only use certain types of instruments? It's clearly ridiculous. And anyway, as far as competency goes, it's not the gear you choose to play on that makes you competent or not, it's the effort you put in to learning your craft, hence of course why we put such a huge emphasis on teaching people to be better DJs.

So come on Mr Club Owner, do a couple of simple things. Employ a knowledgeable sound engineer, who can help DJs set up, break down, and switch between each other, and maybe educate them in areas they're not sure about. But more than that, why not simply vet anyone who plays in your club carefully, or work with reputable promoters who do that for you - not based on what gear they use, but on their dedication to the art of DJing, and to the music we all love, that got us all into this in the first place.

Why not take a leaf out of the book of Ministry of Sound, Kenny, a club which has been doing this stuff for long enough to know a thing or two about it? "We don't mind what equipment DJs use," they told us in a video interview as part of our Digital DJ Masterclass course. "We just want them to be comfortable. We'll happily help them set up whatever they want to play on."

Are you offended by being told you can't use your laptop and controller in a club? Should DJs only play on what's provided, and not be given the chance to add extra gear, or bring some of their own set-up with them? Or does the guy have a point? Let us know in the comments below.

Get access to all our free DJ training!

Join over 150,000 Digital DJ Tips members to get exclusive free DJ training videos, articles & resources plus twice-weekly emails with the best of our tutorials, reviews and DJ news. It’s free, and you can unsubscribe at any time!


  1. No laptops? That's cool, I bring and use a 23" iMac anyway

    • Oh well, that's OK then Glen! 😉

    • Akinkunmi Cook says:

      Wow! Still into this debate as to what a "Real" dj is! The cdj is dead! Why else would Pioneer venture into making it's own dj software? Also, the cdj is "cheating" at the highest order! Try mixing disco classics with drifting tempos a la Frankie Knuckles if you want to get into the whole beatmix argument. Because if you are just mixing House & Techno with "locked" tempos, puh-leeze! I am a happy "laptop dj" with a traktor S8 & I ain't looking back! Grew up on vinyl went to the Paradise Garage & the whole nine & guess what? Who cares? Deal with the now, the present not the past! I remember when cdjs came out and djs were like "no, that's not real djing!" Hello! Wake the f#ck up!

      • Cary Pope says:

        He's not dissing the laptop dj he's dissing a breed of wanna be dj's that the laptop dj created

        • CJ Crain says:

          I think that what is happening here is an attempt to weed out what has become an enormous amount of kids that call themselves DJ's but haven't put in the work or paid the dues to earn the title.
          I don't know how many of you are US-based. But, here in California most club owners don't know the difference between a real DJ and someone using a laptop and some sort of auto-mix software. As long as they hear Future and Yo Gotti coming out of the speakers. I don't know if this is a worldwide issue or just here in the states, but it is hard for real DJ's to get gigs when we're competing with 50 kids who just beat mix the shit they hear on the radio, and they'll damn near do it for free just to get into the booth.
          I will give you an example of what I'm talking about; my very first gig here happened almost by accident. I went to a club just to hang out- not even looking for a job. The DJ started his set with "Funk Phenomenon", got through a couple other songs, would screw up somehow, and start the set over again.
          I watched as the dance floor emptied and, after about the fourth or fifth time I heard "the funk phenomenon" start over I couldn't take it anymore. I went to the bar and found out that it was none other than the owners son in the booth. I went out to my car, grabbed a demo CD, and gave it to the bartender who - in turn - gave it to the manager. About twenty minutes and a couple shots later, I heard my demo coming out of the speakers. The manager was standing in the booth while the owners son was packing up his gear.
          The next day, I had my first job in California.
          Now, this was 1997, way before laptop DJing or time code vinyl - but it does speak to the ignorance of a lot of club owners in CA. I would commend this Kenny Summit for trying to avoid a 21st century version of this occurrence. While you may be a real DJ who just uses a laptop, there is a good chance that, if that's all you use, you may not be who you say you are - especially in California.

    • Love it hahaha

    • Ice Berg365 says:

      Haha I use an iMac too!

  2. Irvin Cee says:

    It's like telling a musician not to use this or that instument.
    Let dj's use the instument/tool they find they can deliver the best result with.
    That one of the characteristics of a professional, he uses tools he can deliver the best result with.

    • You're right, and one of the things we teach over and over again is that the core skills of DJing work on ANY gear, and if you're serious about this hobby or career, you have to nail those skills so you can use records, CDs, controllers. whatever.

    • Trevor Oxborrow says:

      If a pianist or organist goes to a venue to perform, very often they'll both expect and be expected to play on the instrument already installed. That said, if the house cannot provide what the performer is comfortable with, how hard is it to provide mains power and audio inputs to the house system? In trying to avoid hosting lazy performers, the club has proved itself lazy in the manner in which it selects DJs.

      • I think you've hit the nail on the head there, it is quite possible to select quality DJs whatever gear they use.

      • Akinkunmi Cook says:

        In regards to comparing the pianist to the dj, the closet dj instrument I can think of is the Technics sl-1200mk2. The reason they are similar is because every club had them so if you bought a pair you knew they were exactly the same as the club's. The same way the keyboard is the same for the pianist. When the industry moved to the cdj that's when things changed. The Pioneer cdjs that are in the clubs are not identical to their lower end line. Here is the problem! Also the top end pioneer cdjs are ridiculously expensive for a cdj in the digital age. I say "digital age" because in 5 months to two years, digital kit will either be obsolete or a significant upgrade will occur unlike the never dying Technics! I'm quite sure most budding djs would go for the high end Pioneers in a heartbeat but at the end of the day, money becomes an issue! One pioneer nexus cdj costs more than any traktor controller but Traktor sounds just as good if not better than a cdj! Do the math.

        • DJ Peter says:

          I don't agree with you there. I started out my first 10 years with the 1200's, and as you say, it's what everyone used and they were ''the one and only'' in the clubs. I think that Pioneer has that about them as well, and that is part of why I never considered anything else than Pioneer when it's time for new gear.

          If you have a pair of CDJ-1000Mk1 (2001) and finally think it's time to go for the NXS2 (2016), not that much has happened to the main features and the placement of buttons. If you bring your CD's, you'll be up and running in minutes. I have a pair of Mk3's that I use for practice now and then, and to me it's all about things working as supposed. When they do that, i can play on anything in the Pioneer full size series and feel good about it. From the CDJ-800's all the way to the CDJ-2000NXS2. I'd rather play on a 800 than a NXS2 with a busted cue-button. In live situations I often start the next track with the channel fader half way up or more, so timing is essential for my style of playing. It's not that the audience necessarily would notice, but I would.

          In my opinion, the pointing finger at the cost of a new NXS2 setup is just stupid. There are a lot of cheap ways to buy new or used Pioneer gear that will prepare you for a gig in a serious club that has new Pioneer gear installed. As soon as you have proven yourself and have a couple of paid gigs every week, the ''COST of'' changes to ''INVESTING in'', because now you are in the target group of people who Pioneer are aiming their top gear to. This is also when you realize that reliability and basic key features are more important than any new button or effect. You're becoming a professional.

          For those who has to bring a number of personal gear in to the booth to perform, i don't think of them a DJ's, and they shouldn't be treated as such. I think of them as artists and they should perform on a stage, not from a booth. Where i play, the guest DJ's/Artists always get their own set up, usually on a stage separated from the Booth. That way we keep our gear untouched in the Booth and the Guest gets all the attention. Win win.

          If Phil decides he want to come to Sweden on a paid holiday, I'd gladly set him up for a gig or two. He would definitely get the stage and it would be entirely up to him if he want to use our Nexus setup or play from his phone, or whatever, because that's what Phil does :) . I would book myself for the warm up and later Phil would be so very welcome in to my Booth and join me for the last set, as long as he use the gear provided :) .

  3. Dave Japp says:

    so people pay to go to a club and look at the tech being used ???????? or do they go to a club to dance and have a good time with the MUSIC that is being played , if its a case of moving a few bits to accommodate a dj and his tools then do it , if he plays for the crowd and they enjoy it then do it , a narrow field of view will end up with an empty club , broaden your horizons and just give people what they pay for , the joy of dancing whether to vinyl , cdj's or a controller it makes no difference as long as people enjoy it and come back

  4. Patrick Schuppe says:

    I agree with Irvin! Everyone should be able to use what he or she knows best. Its the tallent that matters! These CDJS are often complikated. Playing in a club for the first time realy requires a well known setup!!
    On the other side a tallented DJ should be able to perform basic mixing tasks with what ever Gear is there. But todays Deeyaing is fare away from just mixing trackx! So I repead a well known setup is a must to deliver an outstanding DJ Set!

    gretings Patrick Schuppe A.K.A. DJ Joyman

  5. His statement alone, what a bunch of horse huey... bloody hell I would not want to DJ in his club anyways. Enough nice places in the US that get with the times....

  6. Ravi Radh says:

    Ask the club to invest in a few Pioneer DJM Tour ones so our DJs can have a spin.

    I'm sure that the LA club can't afford

  7. Francois Mills says:

    Well I say nai start with the basics and when your promoted you can do what you like.cuase the old ways are best just my opinion

  8. Mike Stryk says:

    He'd be better on insisting that djs mix manually and not do it automatically on a laptop. I'm a mobile DJ and cannot afford cdjs. I personally don't think they'd be as user friendly as what I have. I use an old dds80 Numarrk so I can keyboard in the next song and mix accordingly. My back-up is a laptop with mix-in-key software and another dj software programme mostly for seeing my vast collection of tracks in their genres or categories. Which is always bloody hard to see from just a controller.

    This whole kit is a dream for me really. It works just great. If I want to add effects I use outboard on my mixer.

    I'm dreading the day when I have to get something newer because so far nothing measures up bar the unaffordable cdjs (attaching a keyboard to search.)

    If you are beatmixing and simultaneously key mixing like me, I really don't think it matters what you do it on.

    • Of course, Pioneer CDJs have the sync button now, so you have a point - will we see a backlash against people who are happy to play on CDJs, but press "that" button?

      • Really Phil? Why are we even discussing the Sync button? It's a fundamental feature of all software and refusing to use it to satisfy the trolls is like always using the manual option on your car's automatic gearbox in case someone thinks you can't drive. There is SO much more to being a DJ than beat-matching or what kit you use and you know that better than most. So please don't feed the trolls on that subject because it discredits the many dedicated DJs that use it to their audience's advantage. My rant now over!

        • I am happy to say I've been an avid user of the sync button since 2007. Next? 😉

          • Reading it again I see I misinterpreted your post! All the haters making me paranoid...

        • Cary Pope says:

          I don't know Nick, I think it's more like wanting to be a surfer but not knowing how to swim. Sure you can float on the board, you don't really have to know how to swim... but if you want to be a surfer you should learn how to swim do you think? Sure there is a lot more to djing than beat matching but beat matching is a crucial skill. With sync on i'm still nudging and perfecting the mix, It doesn't require nearly as much effort as is used to but it's still requires some, If the dj doesn't notice that two tracks are slightly out of sync and he just lets them ride together. I find that to be very painful and embarrassing for the dj especially if the dj never notices it and doesn't fix it. That's the dark side of the sync, it will keep the tracks locked slightly off and unless you have an ear or develop an ear for what that sounds like you will never know.

        • MrIddz68 says:

          Fair comment mate!

      • It doesn't matter which format you choose to DJ with... turntables, CDJs or laptop. Tune selection will always be the most important factor in any DJs set. No one should be criticised for how they choose to present their music, particularly if the audience is appreciating it. There are, however, many styles of dance music where the crucial skill of manual beat matching creates a unique energy that isn't always present when two tracks are locked together using a sync button. When manual beat matching, there are opportunities to create transitions where one track "eclipses" another, if only by tiny fractions of a second. This could be done several times during a mix or just once over a longer period of time. If done skilfully, the audience may not hear the transition, but they will feel it. Rhythms combine to produce subtle new layers and shuffles. As one track eclipses the other, it often creates a rush of energy which can transform the mood of the dance floor. It's a simple but important aspect of the craft which is simply not present when a sync button is used.

  9. It's just ridiculous to ban laptops. This guy probably doesn't even DJ by himself and doesn't understand the craft at all. You just can't allow DVS while ban the controllers, because it is contradictory. On the other hand you limit the DJ just to use your gear and maybe you are moving him out of his comfort zone. That's the worst thing what can happen to a DJ. I had a similar experience in a club in Croatia when club's boss came to the booth and bombed me with questions why I just controller and not the gear in the club. My answer was simple: "I'm used to it and I don't wanna go out of my comfort zone just because the club has high end gear to which I'm not used to.". Thank god that guy was normal and said that he respects my choice, but I know that there are not so many people like this guy that will respect the DJ and let them do what they want in the club.

    P.S. Old school must accept the new technology and support the upcoming talents rather than limit them by prohibitions.
    P.P.S. Sync is the best thing that happened to modern DJ-ing and everyone must accept it.

    • I have known Kenny for a few years now. He's DJ's, He produces and owns a record label. If you don't know who he is, you probably wouldnt be invited to play in his club. That said, Kenny knew I was a controller DJ and he encouraged me to go out and learn how to play on CDJ's, so I did. It made a huge difference. Learning how to play without waveforms taught me how to properly beatmatch and now I can play on my controller, control vinyl, CDJ's and Turntables. I still play on my controller and use a laptop, but knowing how to play out on different formats has made DJining more fun.

    • Dustin Lewis says:

      I agree with Lando, if you take yourself seriously as a DJ, then you'll learn and be competent in using all types of DJ equipment (mainly controllers, CDJs, and turntables (both DVS and actual vinyl). If anything, I would think a serious DJ would want to learn the turntables, since that's basically where the art of DJing started. BUT! Whatever you use, be a complete beast on it; if you are more comfortable/experienced with your DJ controller, beast on it! IF you can do the damn thang on CDJs and turntables instead, beast on it! Perfect your skill at one, but be competent on being able to use all. What happens if your laptop conks out and you have no choice but to use the house CDJs??

      I have a Pioneer DDJ-SX2, but got tired of lugging it around to gigs, so I basically forced myself to learn CDJs (I've been wanting to anyway, but that was the fire that was lit under my ass that made me learn them pronto). And I plan on learning turntables soon as well.

      And Kenny Summit is an IG house head, producer and DJ, and has worked with House music's greatest. Google him up!

    • Cary Pope says:

      Who cares what he says you're a dj, just put your music on your jump drive and go smash it! Wait that's right you can't do that because you can't match a beat.. P.P.P.S... Once you learn how it's like riding a bike. How do you know how great the sync feature is when you don't know how to sync anything? Man made the machine. use it to help you, don't depend on it if you don't have to.

  10. Jabba The Shedd says:

    This guys FB page probably tells you all you need to know:
    Owner / Operator Good For You Records & Cure And The Cause Nightclub.
    Radio Host for Pioneer DJ Radio. From Linden, New Jersey.

    Small town boy made good, thinks he's a trend setter nut perhaps just a fanboy.

    OK, that was a cheap shot but, the bottom line, his club, his rules. So, I won't get to play there any time soon, I doubt he'd want my choice of music anyway, but if he did and I was in the running it would be a bit of a bummer, but I could fall back on CDs assuming he has multimedia CDJs. 😉

    But seriously, I've heard of some majorly influential clubs, owners and promoters but I'm afraid Mr Summit and 'Cure And The Cause ' have slipped me by. So, will his statement have an impact, will it set a trend? I doubt it, but who knows what the future will bring us, whatever it is there will always be clubs/bars that cater for 'retro' kit and methodology.

    Incidentally, the bar/club I've played out at most recently does not do vinyl, per se, they don't have decks, but they will hire them in if they book you and you do do vinyl, likewise CDJs. Most of their DJs use controllers & laptops, or have their own CDJs/decks. But, unlike Mr Summit, they *will* accommodate the talent they feel will rock the joint and satisfy their customers.

    • Jabba The Shedd says:

      Correction: '... thinks he's a trend setter **but** perhaps just a fanboy'

    • To be clear, I/we have absolutely no issue against anyone personally here, it's the attitude we don't like. The "problem" as he sees it is incompetent beginners DJing in his club. Why the hell allow incompetent beginners to DJ in your nightclub? Sort that out bit out, it's your problem! Don't go all gear fascist on us and fuel this damaging attitude against people trying to learn their trade in a digital world.

      • Phil,
        Kenny is a big supporter of new talent, he encourages young DJ's to get out of the bedrooms and infront of crowds, but this is his club.
        Did you know he made the DJ Booth for DJ's, not as an after thought? Everything from the height of the table, to the top of the line Nexus gear, to the perfectly tuned monitors and the Funktion One sound system is for DJ's.
        I think you are being a little unfair to Kenny. Phil, you have said that learning how to manually beatmatch and learning how to play on CDJ's can only help you as a DJ in the long run, and this is what he is saying. You know he didn't ban laptops out right, what he said was, if you are going to play in my club, use the top of the line equiptment we have for you to use, unless you can bring something special with your controller/laptop/special set up.

        • I was careful not to attack Kenny, I reacted to those words. My loyalty is to people who are learning to DJ including our students, many of whom will have felt those comments were addressed directly to them. If you've got the music in you, in the world of Lana Del Rey, you should be encouraged, like Ministry of Sound encourages young DJs... no matter what gear you use. To me this is a problem of not vetting your DJs enough, not what gear those DJs are using. So what if some kid hasn't ever had to plug in to a Pioneer mixer before? Show them, and work with them to craft their talent. Don't ban them publicly on Facebook.

          • What if you were to interview him Phil, let him give his perspective on Digital DJing, explain the mix mag quote, and maybe see things from his persective? I think you will find that his view is not too much different than yours.

          • @lando sounds good.

          • Kaleba Matthews says:

            .....and the truth comes out. This is about your customers/students. You tell them that they don't ever really need to learn basic beat matching to be a successful DJ. Phil I saw that Ministry of Sound bit and could only imagine how silly one would look with a controller when there's 8 CDJ-Nexxus right there. Smh

            Laptops are cool for a pub or mobile DJ's but only skilled DJ's should be in the club booth.

          • "You tell them that they don't ever really need to learn basic beat matching to be a successful DJ." Erm, no we don't. We teach beatmixing as an essential part of DJing. And of course I'm going to stick up for our members and course owners. They're awesome. :)

  11. Mattia Nicoletti says:

    There is nothing to say. It's like asking a writer to use a pen and paper and not a computer and a keyboard. The important is the outcome not how to get it. I am 47 years old I started djing at 18 on 2 Technics SL1210 (I still own them) but everything is evolving and changing. It' all about music not about technology.

  12. "So, show us your talent." More like show us your conformity. I'm personally tired of seeing Pioneers everywhere.

    Who needs him or his club?

  13. Walter Marinelli says:

    There's an interview with Kenny Summit where in my opinion he talks about the real reason.

    "We have the occasional big headliner (unexpected for such a small venue), and we also get a lot of locals and young DJs who get hired by promoters to warm up the room. The problem lies with the opening DJs (mostly), many of them show up with a laptop and controller, and that's all they've ever used. That's a problem. They don't know what to connect with our Pioneer system; they have no clue what they're plugging in or what plugs they're taking out.

    Now I know young DJs have to cut their teeth, and that's why we give the promoters the opportunity to bring in their own DJs to open... but its gotten to the point where it's like an epidemic with these DJs who haven't bothered to go the full distance and LEARN how to set their shit up without interrupting the flow of the night. Midnight is not the ideal time to turn the mixer off, pull it out and start guessing which port to plug your Traktor into. "

    You get what you paid for. Simple as that.

    • Dave Japp says:

      then surely its down to the club owner to make sure he has a competent audio technician on his payroll , problem solved :)

    • DJ Vintage says:

      As Phil stated in his article, the Ministry of Sound has a much healthier view of things, imho.

      It's the venue (especially at this level) that I think is responsible for being ready to accommodate DJs, not the other way around. Smart ergonomics for your booth and good house techs and there is absolutely no problem. Even having back to back DJ's working.

      A mobile show I occassionally work for now has DJ booths that come with a (detachable) laptop stand that you can stick in front and center or off to the left or right corner. The booth has two RCA and two XLR connectors in the back. I show up, put my controller down, set my laptop on the supplied stand, plug my XLRs in and off I go. If you don't want to bring your own gear, they supply a Nexus 2000/900 setup. Still you can use the laptop stand if you want to hook up just your laptop (RekordBox or RB DJ anybody?)

  14. DJ Vintage says:

    I read up on his bio, the guy is not exactly a stranger to the business. So much weirder that someone like that comes out with a rant like this.

    And controller = DJ-ing with training wheels? Please!

    I had a whole reply ready. But I've decided not to add more fuel to a totally useless and outdated fire. It's his club and he can do what he wants I guess. I would never make his shortlist anyway, so it's no matter to me personally. but I'll predict he is gonna miss out on some awesome talent that can work miracles with their controller of choice because of this warp in his thinking.

  15. Victorien Bourreau says:

    I'm 32, started DJing when I was 13.
    Started on Vinyls, then DVS (Scratch Live with the SL1), and switched on CDJ's but didn't stayed on them.
    (In Clubs, some CDJ's are...hmmmm... A little bit mistreated...)
    I move to Ableton to be able to make really complicated rock mashup on live situation, and do finger drumming stuff. (but rarely in a club, only for "shows" in club)

    I really get bored playing on CDJ's (only loops, cue points and Color Filters... so many tools...)

    I can't understand why a guy wants to BAN a laptop on a booth ?
    When you have 4 CDJ's and a DJM in front of you, you already have 5 standalone computers...

    And especially in normal club situations (resident dj's), i can say that nobody cares what's your DJ gear (and DJing skills too...), people just want to Dance on "good" music, get Drinks and have a good time.

    i think the Club Owner is just angry because he bought an expensive setup that no-one wants to play with :)

  16. Stephen Scott says:

    ....some people are just stuck in the past...he will realize his bonehead move in time...funny how the new Pioneer has a built in of makes his statement void in my opinion...unless your some big name...dancing peoples faces off is what its about!!! You might not even see me or know what I'm doing..but your out of breath sweating body is all the thanks I need!!!

    • MrIddz68 says:

      ...Yep "the good ol' days" are just not really because all things improve via the accumulation of knowledge of and consistent application thereof. It just reveals subjective ignorance most of the time and to hearken back to them also a stunt in the growth of wisdom and a reluctance to accept the truth.

  17. Adam James says:

    Its 2016 yeah ???
    Anyone ???
    Oh good just checkin ???
    Phew for a moment there i thought we had slipped back to the invention of the stone wheel.
    Wonder if he used a chisel and stone tablet as opposed to a apple or android tablet to post his twaddle.

  18. I think this club owner must read about today's equipment/technology. Dj controller with a laptop is the same as having a pioneer CDJ. The difference is that the CDJ have an embedded system while the dj controller requires a laptop with an OS and a dj software .

  19. DJ Hella Def says:

    Frankly, i'm less annoyed at the club owner for the rant. Obviously owner of said rant was coming off of a bad night of business and the laptop sportin, controller toting DJenerate didnt quite meet their expectations when they totalled bar receipts. Or something to that effect.
    What i am annoyed with is that we as DJs STILLL have the audacity to react to this club owners VERY old, uninformed, and uneducated opinion about DJing with wax vs laptops, etc. etc etc., or "Real Djing" and who IS at its forefront. REALLY? HEY DJs, quit being arrogant aristocratic artistic creatives
    saying "i wouldnt play there anyway" and "the nerve of this guy limiting my creativity", or better yet, playing the tech geek and picking apart the details of his rant then refuting with tech talk and knowledge about Serato, CDjs and the like. Get over it.
    over it yet? No? well try harder.
    Now, lets entertain the reality of his rant: For a club owner to take a stab and jab at DJing, or to even care how we go about it, means that the DJ he booked, shouldnt be a DJ. period. moral of the short story: if all you got from his rant was "fuck that owner, he doesnt know shit about DJing anyway," then shutdown the laptop, decks, and controllers. If youre unwilling to acknowledge that its not the owner, its the DJ with no skills or knowledge that left a bad taste, then u must suck equally in your knowledge and expertise in a club environment. But im sure YOU think youre an artist who is creative genius.
    trust, youre not doing yourself, the club, or the art form any favors.
    with angst and artistic arrogance at those of us who DJ DJSntertainmentbeen my experience that club owners and promoters alike, could really give 2 squirts about the art of DJing,

  20. DJ Canadien says:

    That's like telling Eddie Van Halen or Slash that they can only use the same guitar as Jimi Hendrix, which wouldn't work anyways since Jimi was a leftie.

  21. Ole Utne says:

    I'm curious to know wether or not I'm allowed to bring the new Pioneer tour kit? Witch basically are cdjs With a plain Laptop Attached to them. Or maybe I will just refuse to share my passion and creativity in that club With my S4, D2 and F1?

  22. Hehe Just a shity rule, that's all. Improvise!

  23. aldoboymusic says:

    What this Kenny Summit guy doesn't realise is, is that the flagship Nexus models and the overrated and overpriced tour 1 gear are just glorified controllers with fancy LCD screens and fold downs.

    None of the overpriced gear he wastes his money on is going to make any DJ sound more professional, if anything going from a Pioneer DDJ S/RZ running software to a nexus or tour set up is actually a step backwards in terms of features.

    Heck even my XDJRX running standalone or Rekordbox DJ will easy match anything that a club has to offer.

  24. Juan Fennski says:

    And there was me stupidly thinking for the last 25 years I was doing it to make the punters have a good time.
    How silly of me.... Some of the best dis in the world now play
    Off of laptops ask Carl cox, hawtin etc.
    It don't matter what tool you use if it gives the crowd the best experience.
    Promoter is a twat and needs to wake up to the real world.

  25. Neil Maclean says:

    Firstly I use a laptop with a controller at home, when I play in a club I use USB's, so I'm not a purist saying all DJ's need to play with vinyl or CDs. I been there, done that, I'm a old MOFO and can not be bothered burning CDs or lugging records around, was doing that in 1982!. Call me biased as I know Kenny personally, and as always been a great guy, always about the music not about all the other crap that gets in the way of playing good music. So not going to get in the old debate about Digital DJ's vs Vinyl etc, (its getting very boring now) have a read of this to see if you still think Kenny is being a "Dick".

    • Great point Neil,
      I didn't think these comments would annoy me, but I really do take them personal. Kenny is a great guy, and I hate to see so much misinformation about him. Just to be clear, Kenny Summit has been a top tier DJ since the 1990's, and was taught by the masters like Larry Levan and Frankie Knuckles. He moved to LA and brought a House Scene to a city that said people said could never have a House Scene. He produces tracks that domintated the House music charts since 2014. People in the industry respect Kenny becuase he is a straight shooter, encourages new talent and and is truly gifted Dj and producer. His label Good For You Records puts out music FOR DJ's, from a real DJ. So before you say he is just a Club Owner who doesnt understand Digital DJing, please think again.

  26. Jared Owen says:

    He's a club owner so he makes the rules it's understandable but music is freedom and if he is not willing to respect the art form of all DJs in all art forms then that is his prerogative it is a shame though that someone that claims that they enjoy the crafting called himself a music producer doesn't know that DJ Ing is something that was started in the underground in the inner city and not in some LA club

  27. MrIddz68 says:

    No biggy either way for me..I couldn't scratch to save my life and anyway! Turntables are just bigger and easier to see by more people ie the audo' so with in consideration it make some sense. I would not want to turn up with a controller at a turntable event either if I was a turntablist, which I am not and I don't think he is going to have a shortage of punters any time soon either. Big deal, the bloke has got some preferences in his place so what it is hardly the end of the controller is it! Anyhoo...he might just want trumpets next week then what are you going to do?

  28. Matt Hamilton says:

    It's 2016. The only people that care what the DJ is using are other DJs. It doesn't matter how the music is played, who cares if it comes from a laptop with a cracked version of whatever software or if it's from the top end pioneer stuff. If it sounds good and the people are enjoying it, let the DJ do their job however they see fit.

  29. Firstly, I can't believe we're STILL having this debate in 2016.

    Mac vs PC anyone?
    DAT vs CD?
    VHS vs Betamax?
    8 Track vs LP?
    Electric vs Acoustic?
    Gramophone vs wax cylinder?
    Harpsichord vs Piano?

    Secondly, it's only ever other DJ's that care what kit you're using, and with the rare exception it's only amateurs (no disrespect intended - I'm not a constantly touring pro) that waste time fiercely debating about it on forums and social media. For House and Techno the crowd are certainly open to whatever you're using.

    Thirdly, if you're any good at what you're doing, the crowd should be way too far lost in the god damn MUSIC to give a rat's ass which buttons, dials or faders you're using.

  30. MK.Santo says:

    The laptop in many cases it is a useful, auxiliary tool, obvious this should be its role in the dj booth and not as the main ingredient.
    Personally, i have never use laptop when playing as dj, even years ago when the players were not so intelligent, (such as the cdj400).
    Now that technology offers, lists, analyzes, waveforms, sync buttons etc, is one more reason to keep away the laptop from the dj booth.
    In fact, the laptop is not the main problem, but the way of use it, the way of making djs easily even if they don't have the necessary basic knowledge.
    It is understood that this does not apply to everyone.
    However, which the separation is, in between a "real" dj and someone who calls himself dj, music producer etc, without the basic knowledge and experience.
    This whole mess with cables and thousands of questions about the software, more confusing than facilitate art ... This is my personal view, always there is the other side...

  31. Jeff Jackson says:

    Ok I have a residency at a local place and they didn't like people coming in and unhooking everything. I came up with a way to solve that there is a plate in place over a big hole that has all connections anyone would need to use our 1200mk2 or what every that want to use. Now no one needs to unhook anything no matter what they bring. They problem sounds like the owner at this club. Sounds like he let any one in there whether they knew what they are doing or not. I see it all the time they will do a special event and the person will say we have our own DJ. The person comes up in the booth with a iPad or computer. Usually I have my DDJ SX already set up and have them go through it so I control them and can take over if aloud. They normally play stuff they want to hear and in a horrible order. I could load up the house computer with a list on virtual DJ and blow them out of the water. Sounds like the club owner has just had to many bad experiences of wannabe DJ's. Maybe he should make them do a live set before bringing them in at night. It would weed out the ones that can't spin.

  32. Jacob Reesor says:

    Well... He won't be getting many DJs in his clubs. Beginners simply need laptop support, and this guy basically only wants highly experienced DJs by doing this. So I hope he's expecting to spend some big bucks to get the big names in his club. And it comes across as not supporting more beginner DJs. And his sound engineers will be working WAY harder with the mass of cables and wires!

  33. Dan Knapp says:

    Using (a laptop) to control vinyl... hmmm...shouldn't that be the other way round ? I think the guy simply doesn't get it...

  34. Joshua Calderon says:

    Ive been DJing for around 4-5 months now and to hear this is totally insane. First off, not everyone can afford to play/practice on CDJs, like myself. Second, if clubs start feeling the same way such as the owner of the one in the article, that kind of boxes out the beginner/intermediate DJs from being a successful club DJ. So overall I 100% don't agree with this, I believe that DJs should be able to use whatever they need as a tool.
    Ex: I use SeratoDJ with PulseLocker as an essential tool

  35. Libni John paul says:

    In my opinion, A person who is serious in djing and just want to entertain the crowd doesn't need a laptop. As of now most dj's are also music producers. They have their own patches stored in a usb stick. Which is all welcome in such type of clubs where they need to show up their talents. But the dj who is not a music producer, need to update his knowledge in those advanced controllers where we can hookup everything and arrange in a certain style for his easy playing with Technics and controls. So, this is welcome in today's world where we all step into this, and in the future.

  36. Heck yeah. That club owner in question reminds me why I hate club owners and managers. Look, it's a simple matter to plug a soundcard into the aux-in on any board or mixer. If they have novices coming through messing up the booth, punish them instead of the rest of us. All along I keep wondering how in the heck anybody is supposed to run a dvs box without a laptop???

    I've had a lot of bad experiences with sound guys at gigs because they've all been old burned out rock and roll guys. I find that I can do a much better job plugging in and eqing the sound than the sound guy who gets paid whatever he is getting paid to c-block my setup routine.

  37. He refuses to buy a Blue ray player also.

  38. I'm going to play devil's advocate here and say "it depends on the context of the evening".

    I will say the owner's rant was a horrible way to state a view, and he should have worded things better than he did.

    Now then, while I like to see myself as a huge advocate for digital DJing, I also can understand when you have a venue with a full setup, and it seems like every hour you're watching DJs tear apart and reconnect everything. It was worse when more DJs used timecode, but even now there is still that chaos.

    Who knows what drew this out? Maybe he was standing there, watching the music be shut down in some way for a minute or two every hour as DJs "switched", and thus got angry at the constant interruptions in music versus a regular flow. Maybe a DJ messed up a piece of gear or a port or shorted something out in the tinkering with the setup.

    I think if you're a DJ doing straight A-to-B mixing, and you'e coming out to play 1-2 hours, then you should try to use the in-house gear. There's really not much excuse now to not be able to be versatile. HOWEVER...the in-house gear should be high end. I'm talking Pioneer Nexus line so a DJ can set things up on Rekordbox and show up with a flash drive to play. The venue has no right to demand "no laptops", if their setup is two 1200s, older non-digital CDJs, and mixer. There's a bigger reason why we've pulled away from analog thinking.

    Now if this is some "I'm sick of DJs using computers, sync, etc." logic, then the guy needs to get over himself. Like it or not, this is still very much a popularity contest, and the mediocre-A-to-B-can't-DJ-without-sync DJ who can drag out hundreds of people will still win the battle over the talented savant who can't bring anyone out. That's life, and if his competitors are bringing out the "unfit for my venue" DJs who draw the crowds, then it's his business that will suffer. If he wants to kill his livelihood for his principles, then so be it. There will always be a new club to replace his.

  39. Matthew Wester says:

    Look... this thing is blown out of proportion... All he is saying is not to bring a controller or laptop to do what you can do on the 8K worth of gear that is already here. Why would you bring a controller if you have four 2000nxs and a 900? It is unnecessary. If you are doing a turntable routine or live analogue or digital programming, then fine... but if you are just mixing tracks it is an inconvenience. Its an inconvenience to the club and the other DJs. Takes up booth space, wires everywhere, different inputs for sound levels. All of this, when you could just walk up and plug in a USB stick. ITS REDUNDANT PEOPLE.

  40. MrIddz68 says:

    oh by the way jeans!

  41. aldoboymusic says:

    When you get right down to it, the guy has little knowledge of DJ'ing so brands anything other than flagship gear as inadequate.

    Basically he's a tool who's been deceived by the celebrity Dj nonsense that gets flaunted about.

    A tragic case on his behalf, but hey it's his club and his rules.

    If he wants to bankrupt himself on hiring overpriced DJ's, then that's his business.

    Going by what I've read so far, he seems to be the type who looks down upon digital dj's who use controllers and laptops hence his incorrect course of action.

    • I think you're presuming too much here, Kenny has nothing to prove re his dedication to the music, but it doesn't stop these words feeling limiting and restrictive to those who are too young, creative &/or inexperienced to play by any code (thou shalt use CDJs...) rather than just do great stuff with whatever gear they happen to have. Personally I'd rather see some kid smashing it up on a modular controller than a bored DJ doing what they've always done on the gear they've always used. We should encourage talent and weed out the pretenders; surely that's better than banning anyone who's not had a chance to get comfortable on a $10k set-up yet?

      • aldoboymusic says:

        I couldn't agree more Phil, all DJ gear gets the user to the finish line in the end, whether it be a laptop and controller or the overpriced CDJ's & DJM's...

        The flagship models aren't immune to fake DJ's as someone could buy them on higher purchase, use the sync button and never learn to DJ at all.

        Controllers get too much bad press along with software and I think it's time for some club owners to move into the 21 century...

        Controllers or software don't make a DJ an amateur or of not an appropriate quality.

  42. Chip Tredo says:

    You guys are all a little ignorant... if the owner of a club, who's invested SERIOUS money (100's of 1000's, millions?) of dollars... wants to regulate what type of entertainment is offered at his venue... it's entirely within his rights. He owns the club... he's signing the paychecks.

    I've been DJing since before the majority of you were born. 1979 was my start date, to be completely up front.

    Lest you think I'm too old to have a valid opinion...

    I DJed professionally for about 20 years. Started at the same club as Moby, before he was Moby, as a "fill in while the head DJ went on his break" guy. Had lead nights and the whole week at a good number of clubs in St Louis (Zone 8, The OZ (which is still there, after about 30 years of continuous operation in the same location), 1227, Metropol, NYNY) and a few in Dallas (Blue Planet, Lazerz).

    Along the way, I've attempted to open my own club, a few times. It takes significantly more resources thanany of you reading this blog probably have, or will ever have. Unless you have a rich uncle...

    Past that, opening a club is a remarkably complex undertaking, and I haven't even mentioned all the politics you have to deal with...

    All that said... it's not your business. It's Kenny's. If he wants to regulate who and what is in his DJ booth, that's his business, because it IS his business.

    Go open your own club, you can spin whatever and however you want. Till then... put up (open your own club), or shut up. Simple enough.

    I know I'm going to be lambasted for saying what I've said, because there is no accountability for anything you print on the net like this and you all think it's your right to command club owners to run their businesses according to YOUR standards, even though you haven't invested one red cent towards opening the club... so... I'll ask you this... if you opened a jazz nightclub... invested millions of your own $... and the band came in saying they only wanted to play rock, despite the fact that your advertisement specifically said it was a jazz-only nightclub... what would you tell the band? You'd have every right to say "I'm sorry, but that doesn't fit in with the music format I have for this nightclub", and your politely say good-bye. Same difference here.

    BTW... yes... I still own a pair of 1200's, along with a Numark NS-7, since there are far too many songs you can't find on vinyl these days. But I digress...

    • Nobody's commanding anyone Chip, and to the contrary, we value our community here very much. You're tarring a monthly readership of 350k with one brush though, which is obviously slightly risky (I know loads of club owners, managers and promoters, and I did just that stuff myself for 15 years.)

    • - 3L3V8 - says:

      Way to spend 10 minutes talking about yourself and your experience and 1 minute on the issue at hand.

    • aldoboymusic says:

      Chip Tredo We all do respect, but bragging about you're wealth and the celebrites you've played with is so unprofessional and bordering on arrogance.

      I mentioned on the forum not so long ago about some DJ's in my area who behave in this manner, and how unprofessional it is.

      A lot of people aren't impressed by wealth (Take Elliot Rodger as an example, he bragged about how wealthy and superior he was other people and the result was nobody was interested in him.)

      I couldn't be bothered with all the false people who or are only friends with you because you've got money.

      See where I am coming from.

      What Kenny Summit is doing is denying talented DJ's who are misfortunate in not being able to afford overpriced CDJ's & DJM's from having their break.

      Basically he's doing more damage than good to the scene.

      • If you are an LA Local (or any major U.S. City), you have access to CDJ's. So the excuse of not having enough money to buy a Pioneer set up is not valid, you just have to get out there and hustle, make friends and hang out with other DJ's. Even without friends, you can go to you local Guitar Center and play with a Pioneer set up all day long if you like (as long as its not busy)

        • aldoboymusic says:

          What happens if the DJ's don't want to hang out with say e.g someone who#d new to DJ'ing, or if that person lives in a rural area where there are no shops within about a 100 mile radius that sells Pioneer gear.

          I live in a rural area, and we have about 20 DJ's at the absolute max.

          Around half aren't interested in new dj's or anyone who they deem inferior. Sad but true, but thats what the scene is like around my neck of the woods.

          Also a lot of people who live in my area are on low wages or the national minimum wage and can only afford to put food on the table and pay the bills.

          The majority of us cannot afford to splash out £5000 - $8000 on flagship gear to perform in clubs.

          If it weren't for the XDJRX, i would use software and a controller as well.

          • Well, if you lived in the country you probably wouldn't be an opening DJ at the Cure and the Cause in Los Angeles California and the rule wouldn't apply to you.
            I live in a major city, that has a thriving underground scene but no underground clubs, so we have to "rock what we brought" for our events. Lots of controllers and laptops and Serato Boxes. We cobble what we have and play music. Sometimes we are lucky to have a Nexus set up availible and you better believe every DJ wants a go. Every chance I get to play on Pioneer Gear, I take with enthusiasm. Learning how to play on CDJ's has made manually beatmatching easy (for me) and was the way I was able to learn how to play actual vinyl. Playing actual vinyl means I can play anywhere in the city without having to worry about "messing up". I still DJ on my controller, infact, I record all my mixes on Virtual DJ and an old Hercules 4mx.
            If you have a chance to play on Pioneer Gear, I suggest you take it. But if all you have is your laptop and controller, thats fine too. Being flexible and learning to DJ on other types of equiptment doent make you a better DJ, but it makes DJing more fun.

        • Dustin Lewis says:

          Thank you! Was gonna say that but you took the words right out of my mouth! That's exactly how I learned how to use CDJs; by watching youtube videos and playing around with them at my local Guitar Center.

          I just don't get how folks want to lug around their controller, DVS interfaces, etc. to a gig when all you're doing is mixing one song after the next. Why lug around all of that, when you can just carry a thum drive on your keychain and your headphones?

  43. Aram Riley says:

    So according to his interview and viewpoint anything but the CDJ's in his club are considered "training wheels"? Sorry to tell him but my 1978 Technics 1200's ( that I still use to make a living to this day by the way) are one of the main reasons his CDJ's even exist! And yea I have a kontrol Z2 slapped in between them cause I prefer traktor over Serato or Rekordbox with my MacBook out front of it all but you mean with 22 years of this trade under my belt I still can't use my enormous Apple usb stick ( that has a screen and keys attached )! Don't get me wrong I love club gear & I'm totally comfortable on Cdj's and Rekordbox and can pretty much spin on whatever but now he is limiting the extreme amount of talent that is out there playing on these highly portable and convenient controllers. Good advice was mentioned above to solve his issue. Hire a good engineer to handle switch overs and setups, require all new or unfamiliar dj's to submit some sort of audition before booking them to eliminate the newbies trying for overnight success, or simply add a mixing board (which is probably already in there) and add a channel for opening dj's or dj's that use a setup other than his Cdj's. I mean C'mon 2 more xlr cables and a pair of rca's can quickly solve his issue and end his rant!

  44. Dj Nautic says:

    Hello Everyone,
    The way i see it...all clubs, bars, pubs, even festivals are different in some way. With that being said, perhaps being prepared or doing some research on a certain place you might play at; could go a long way so that you know what you can or can't bring as far as using equipment. If the club owner feels a certain type of way about not using this and only using what's provided then that's on him or her and it could make or brake them, but if you can prepare a set in a folder on your laptop then you can do the same on a usb stick plug it in his cdj set up and beat the club down the same!! I like using my laptop to when i play because i can do edits and mashups on the fly and other stuff to keep things unique in my way, but i also can make edits, mashups and even megashorts in my studio so when i dont feel like bringing a laptop i can still do what i would do either way. Just having that open mind and also learning on different types of equipment will keep you from having limited options. I cant afford some of the pro audio stuff that's out now, so what i do is go into my local store and and a have personnel show me how to use, then in turn i'm able to use as well to get the feel and sometimes they let me practice awhile. Im just throwing out scenario's because at the end of the day we provide the entertainment for those who like to get down and no matter what obstacles come at us we have the ability to be prepared to play at any venue on any equipment or restrictions!!

  45. DJ william says:

    Are you offended by being told you can't use your laptop and controller in a club? Should DJs only play on what's provided, and not be given the chance to add extra gear, or bring some of their own set-up with them? Or does the guy have a point? Let us know in the comments below. Nope not at all Cause that would not be my audience or the type of club I want to do business with.

  46. Geoffrey Hinds says:

    At the end of the day, a DJ is a performer, someone who entertains a crowd of 1 (him or herself) and up to a countless crowd of others. Does the crowd care what gear a jock's using? No. They want to know if the jock can "move" them. Everyone here knows what I'm talking about. An artist, and that's what jocks are or at least aspire to be, should be able to use whatever tools they deem necessary or feel comfortable with in the pursuit of that special something that produces a transcendent experience. And I'm a guy that started diddling with turntables way back in the late 70's. Yes, jocks should be able to work on different set ups in the ideal but great spinning is great spinning, regardless of what gear you're using...

  47. Chad Mello says:

    We've been watching the arguments of what a real DJ is and that whole thing for years now. Me personally, I don't care what anybody uses. I've seen good DJ's on about everything imaginable. I've also seen some pretty poor ones as well. The differences had nothing to do with the gear.

    On this issue though, this is his club. He makes the rules. Its his decision. You have to respect that. There is no argument past that fact.

    Sure it sparks a debate, but the fact is he can do whatever he wants in his business. I don't find his decision offensive at all. Rather, if I made a business decision and somebody wanted to tell me how to run my business, that could be taken as offensive.

    So ultimately I can't get into the whole "real DJ" or gear debate because I can't get past the fact that this guy can make whatever rules he wants in his club.

  48. Kyle Hopkins says:

    I have DJed with reel to real, vinyl and even tried cassette (yuck) moved to cd begrudgingly from vinyl and then digital. I am in love with my new numark ns7 III and you can’t have it. This is like hosting a video game party but restricting it to an Atari. Ask the Dinosaurs what happened when you don’t change with the times. Why in the hell would I want a case full of CD’s to play a set when I can just bring a small laptop? Yeah I know it looks cleaner without a laptop sitting on top or it can look very cool to the others in the crowd. Digital music is digital music, lap top, thumb drive, micro SD, or my choice 5 TB portable drive. The time code is still controlling a digital file. These so called purists are still playing a digital file controlled by a controller even if it is vinyl controller. Let it go people, times change. MY TWO CENTS

  49. Jens Fahlstedt says:

    Last time i tried use recordbox it requested a serialnr from a pioneer gear so it's only free if you have pioneer dj stuff.
    Has it change?

    • Jens Fahlstedt says:

      Well my controller can be plugged in on the mixer I hve done it many times so there no need to unplugg other equipment. If there is a free chanel (Pioneer use RCA) I plugg a RCA right in there from my kit!

      Why change cables and unplugg and so on, go on a free channer on their pioneer mixer and it's solved.

    • Not exactly; you can use Rekordbox to manage your collection of music and then to use it with Cue points, clefs (musical keys), etc. when you use Pioneer gears. But to play with Rekordbox DJ (it's not the same software), you need to purchase a license, or to buy a controller that includes the key.


  50. I think I understand this rule: the club just wants to be different, not jut to be the best, or to select the best DJs, but to create controversy. I mean, they are proposing that DJs who are actually using traditional gear seems to be "better DJs" than those who use new controllers and decks. It's a fact that DJs actually are arguing about traditional use of vinyl turntables and, if necessary, CDJs, better than digital controllers (I remember there was the same discussion when CDJs appeared). New generation -or better addapted to the new gear- DJs had selected controllers due to different reasons: controllers are cheaper, may be an "all-in-one" posibility to have the entire equipment,...
    Although there are some DJs and owners of Clubs that understands all these things, due to the facilities of having a cheap digital controller a new generation of DJs have appeared, and there are many DJs that don't want to be out of their "kingdoms" at clubs (I don't mean big clubs of big DJs, just talking about DJs that have not evolved).
    Nowadays, it's necessary to "study" all the possibilities that new gear offers you to your live acts: it's not a question of the use of the Sync button, but the sampler pads and all that offers you, the Camelot's wheel to do harmonic mixes,... you know, all those things: a surgeon needs to be updated, a mechanic needs it too... and I think a DJ needs it too.
    There are nice DJs using controllers, and also pathetic DJs that only use vinyl; the question is: what kind of DJs doesn't have any problem with the gear? I have seen DMC World champions using the worst turntables you can imagine, and getting "gold" of them; I also have seen DMC DJs using some gear at their studies -yet in competitions too- and it's magic! The creativity, a new world of possibilities that we hadn't when we just have vinyl.
    I think there's no matter about the gears you use, just the way you use them. It's easy to see when a DJ is using Sync, or when a DJs is good or bad; but we are not allowed to say what DJ's people had to prefeer: they are free to think who they prefeer, although maybe they are not the best technically.
    So, I think this club just want to get a free advertising campaign, and of course, they have get it.
    Probably there are enough "purists" of traditional DJing in L.A. to fill in this club every weekend.
    Regards from Spain, Phil, and everyone @ DigitalDJTips.


  51. - 3L3V8 - says:

    I was talking about this on Facebook yesterday. Rather than re-type, I"ll just copy/paste:

    "But it sounds like his entire rant has nothing to do with controllers and laptops. It sounds like his issue is with DJs not knowing where to plug in properly. I bet half the problem is him as well.

    If I were an owner, I wouldn't shut out DJs. I would address the issue by upgrading the central mixer if I needed another channel. If I couldn't afford a sound engineer on staff, I'd research the setup myself and clearly explain where to plug in.

    Guy's complaining about "lazy" DJs while probably being part of the problem himself."

    "Yeah, I run a $400 controller and I do pretty well! The guy's rant is just stereotyping and assuming that all DJs on controllers don't know how to plug into his "Pioneer System" correctly.

    It's as simple as having an empty channel on the mixer that the CDJs are plugged into, and plugging your controller into that. If your software and controller are properly tuned, you should just be able to set the channel on that mixer to the same as the rest and it shouldn't be much more work than that.

    The only thing that may be an issue at that point is having enough room on the table to put a controller and laptop...

    Which is why I have plenty of money to afford CDJs but I don't want to - they take up so much god damn space and I don't see much benefit."

  52. Dj Nautic says:

    why wouldn't that type of club or audience be the place not to do business with? Are you saying that instead of respecting the way the man wants things to run in his club that people like you have to not only take it as a negative but don't wanna take some time to learn to be versatile and adapt to the situation? Because i'm sure he's not the only one who is doing it or maybe others are thinking about doing it as well. After reading his article about it, it kinda makes sense. He isn't dogging out people who use the extra gear, what he saying is that when certain dj's come in with the gear they have no idea how to plug in the proper channels to prevent a i said i like using my gear as well but i'm also prepared so that when a situation like that comes about then i'm ready to adjust. I just feel like if some of these dj's have all the time in the world to be on social media and claim that they have what it takes to rock the spot, then what's the problem to take some time to learn about different ways to play your music when something like that comes about!! Besides, how many times do you really think that you would come across a club booth restriction like that? I think it would be kind of nice not to haul gear all the time and actually throwdown with a usb stick, its no difference.

  53. MrIddz68 says:

    Aye give the wee man a break...Kenny that is...he may not know the ins and outs of every bit of DJ gear and to be fair does he really have too when he owns the place...I would but then I may have a deeper interest and more time to spend there unlike Kenny. He may even come to another place and say well ok lets widen the gates a little but slagging him off and calling him names unless you are seriously close to the guy is possible slander at least try and be a little more constructive if you must criticize. Also what is wrong with a specific club I mean are not you guys DJs and if you are then by now you of all people should realize that people will always want to specialize in one way or another just like a DJ who will only play Techno and so on. It is the same in almost every aspect of life take surfing for example believe it or not their are some places where longboarders are not welcome and believe me we had a real slagging throughout the 90s as did the goat boaters (Kayak). There are probably some clubs who will only play Northern Soul all night and only allow a Gramaphone to do it with for the sake of authenticity! Try forgetting to globalize everything you see because it is never going to work although for a time many will have the impression it has.

    • I agree with you in that this is not a personality thing, more another example of the debate surrounding talent using whatever gear it wants to, rather than being restricted. After all, I remember clearly the ranting against CDJs when they first came out, then DVS, then controllers, then iPad DJing... it'll go on for sure. And it's all unnecessary.

      • MrIddz68 says:

        Pride is as pride will be and no one likes to get knocked off the top spot if they have sat in comfort beyond reverence. Please forgive me but I never thoroughly read the article so I may be a little vague on the core issues at present. I see your point but I also see swings and roundabouts and a classic tale of the underdog here rising to the top and taking the world prize...a hollywood drama.

      • MrIddz68 says:

        I am not an experienced DJ or even socialite to be fair but I would say that it maybe Kennys exclusivity that maybe a driving factor for a lot of DJs to work harder at what they do and in the long run respect the man enough for an event at Kennys to become honour or even cause a splinter culture that rises up in defiance to take the world stage for a season It is not an unfamiliar story for many...would you agree?

      • MrIddz68 says:

        ...oh well there goes globalism again.

  54. Darrell Brown says:

    I love these discussions around technology.
    I teach a course in creating music and the questions of how we use technology to create always come up. Using computers to generate music compositions can have the stigma of not being music because you are not playing an instrument. The evolution of technology lends itself to people who are creative and can learn the basics to create.
    Does it benefit you to have all of those other skills to make you better at your craft? Yes it does. Can you perform, mix, read crowds, remix on the fly with the addition of technology? Yes you can.
    It doesn't really matter what technology you are using. I have students in my courses that have varying degrees with musical background and what I have seen is, those students who really have a passion for music will create amazing projects regardless of their musical background because technology helps with the learning curve in developing skills.
    I think the mentioned artists that we able to play whatever they want in this club are recognized by the owner as artists who have perfected their craft with whatever technology and the owner reserves the right to run the show how he sees fit.
    In the end technology broadens the horizon for creativity. Whether its loads of gear or the bare minimum, you can still be very good at performing in any situation. The cream of the crop will always rise to the top in the face of adversity. If you are not comfortable (pushing yourself to try new things) in what you are doing you may come across as “same old, same old”.

  55. Damian Dean says:

    Tbh, if a venue has a good pioneer set up id rather use that than bring my own gear but it would be nice to have the choice.

  56. Cary Pope says:

    I AGREE with the club owner to an extent. To be honest the nightclub scene can turn into amature hour with DJ Jazzy Jackass (no pun towards jeff) making the club look like a joke at any moment, unless it's the residents that are the HACKS then it's just a joke period. That's not cool for the people who are part of the club and are working hard to make it great. A Lot of these new so called 'DJ''s cannot even match a beat, they have no sense of timing or any REAL knowledge of music theory. SYNC features do not work all the time, sometimes the tracks aren't quantized properly and if you're a DJ and you are not able to tell when the tracks need to be nudged or you are not timing them properly so the tracks work together then keep practicing because you are not at a level to be playing at a professional business like a Nightclub, because you are not a professional yet, and don't cry, it will be OK... you should want to be as good as you can be before you put yourself out there. I got my first pair of 1200s in early 2000s saved up and got a DJM500. I spend every free min. I had for the following 2.5 years practicing, teaching myself audio and reading books. My first gig out, I smashed it, and it was great and I earned it, that was when I lived in Miami, then I moved to Toronto and smashed there too and loved it. Toronto had a great DJ scene then I moved to Chicago and I smashed it here aswell for a while... but personally, I got sick of dealing with so many amateurs. I love Chicago but this city has so many fake wanna be's... it was embarrassing for me think that these were my peers, some of the RESIDENT DJ's here in Chicago use Ableton to DJ out... BUT NOT in a creative way... In a HACK way. That guy is a joke. I talk to my friends in Toronto and Miami and they say the same thing is going on at the clubs they work at (I prey that it is not as bad). So I stopped DJing out and got a 9-5 with my degree. I'm an Electrical Engineer and I'm happy. I still DJ as a hobby, I support my favorite artists and purchase music from beatport at least once a week. I got a XONE DB4 a couple years ago, I sold the CDJs and 1200s and just use Serato with internal mode.
    I really do understand where the club owner is coming from... But the flip side is that now that the new Serato is fully compatible with my mixer, My XONE DB4 and XONE K2 with my MacBook Pro is the best DJ setup I have ever had... If you know what you're doing with 4 PLAYing decks a lot of great FX with parameters routed or even layered in a really cool chain that you created custom for yourself...OMG it's like I died and went to heaven. My new mixes are on a different level then when I was making them with a DJM800 with CDJs and I'm sure it is much more entertaining to watch what I'm doing now while mixing than before... So to end I will say this. I blame the promoters, that rule will force them to hire DJs with a certain level of experience I hope and if you really want to be a DJ you should be able to mix on a pair of CDJ's and a Pioneer mixer, I mean come on... If you can't mix on that than you need to practice more because that is actually a very easy set up to mix on. But at the same time if the club across the street has a laptop/controller dj that KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING, your club will be empty...

  57. Kenny Schachat says:

    A rant and stupid decision from one club owner in LA? Really not worth getting upset about. Even dumber that club owners think they can dictate what type of gear to use. Just leave this idiot to his luddite ways and move on.

  58. RICHARD GRAY says:

    lets move into the 21st century - i totally feel you about how YOU FEELl Mr club owner - im a dj that started on vinyl. i love the feel of turntables. There was one point i felt like technology left us djs behind....then BAm!!! mp3's...sample buttons...controllers... in short im sayin
    I appreciate technology moving forward and the dj with it!!! Thank you!!!
    We had to evolve to cdj's - hell we had to evolve to technic 1200's - I started djing before 1200's - on technic b-52's and others before. Saying that to say - why stop evolution now just because you are comfortable in the area you have reached... Thats kinda selfish. For the record - I do feel that you are not a real dj until you have learned the fundamentals of real turntables. It is the basis of the whole job as a d.J. - doesnt mean you have to stay there once you have learned and are able to use real turntables.
    I am a dj with 31 years in ... At this stage I can use whatever you put in front of me... And I feel I have earned the right to use whatever I choose - as long as I rock the crowd. Some dj's that know how to use 1200's or cdj's dont even know how to talk to the crowd - which is an essential part of djing as well... How do you feel about that in your club? Nevertheless, it's your club - do what you see fit! I personally feel like your putting a ceiling on innovation and technology - never stop learning
    - peace - d.J. Igorbeatz ( I .G.O.R.V= I grow off reality)

  59. Rick Dawson says:

    totally agree with Hawtin on this.

    let th creativity come through!

    • Rick Dawson says:

      I'm moving on from just straight djing.
      using ableton live on my laptop to add extras to a set.
      creativity is more interesting than a straight DJ set with tracks played in the same way every time.

      • Cary Pope says:

        I don't know what DJ software you are using, were using or anything about your setup for that matter but if you can not find ways to be creative having 4 channels of audio, with customizable fx and fx chains to manipulate your favorite music, that you have complete control over via a controller or dj mixer, I doubt adding ableton will make any huge difference in the vibe or sound of the music that you create. Tracks are the arsenal, you can mix them, reverse them, tease them group them and effect them however you want. I DJ to party down and have fun, i'd rather simplify the setup. Also most DJ software on the market come with built in samplers, why are you using ableton? How are you using ableton?

  60. Rick Dawson says:

    if a DJ is good, then I don't mind what they use to perform.
    I may be interested in what they use though, as I'm kinda geeky with technology.

    glad the guy doesn't work for boiler room or even digital DJ tips, or DJ techtools.

  61. 65emkay says:

    Before "shooting the piano player", I'd recommend an analysis of the management structure which led to evidently traumatic accidents at Mr. Kenny's place, period!

  62. Phil first thing - I thought this was an fictional article. But as the day moved forward and i came back and back to read the reviews it become apparent that it was non fiction.

    With that being said the only thing that I can conclude is that this bar owner does nit want to invest in any new equipment and has actually lost touch with why people patronize his establishment. In fact i would further say that people go to 3 Doors down to the next guys place and party where DJ are better appreciated for what they can do with the technology which is available today. I call out to all DJ who have ever played Kenny's shit hole to cancel your contracts, residency etc and move on. All this guy is looking to do is get PR.

  63. Eyedawg says:

    I was playing last night at a local club. My buddy and I tagged the whole night with no problems. I use a controller and he plays on turntables with with control records. We can beatmatch between us with no trouble, and made the space work.
    Honestly it sounds to me like they've being paying DJ's with no skills in booth setup, and are frustrated.
    Perhaps they should have a better sound engineer and maybe bigger DJ booth. Make it work.
    Bassnectar of all people said it best, it's all about sharing music.

  64. The vitriol over this is almost comical, and a lot of it seems to be coming from people on both sides of the fence clinging to one way of doing things and expecting the world to bend to their view on things.
    Venues and promoters aren't a public service. They're not obligated to give DJs a place to ply their trade. Anyone who's played out at more than a handful of venues knows there's no single perfect platform to spin on. It's not always practical to bring a controller to every gig just as it is with 1200s and CDJs.
    DJs who cling to one platform - any platform - will continue to lose out on gig opportunities where the booth/setup or even the requirements of other DJs precludes being able to set up one's own equipment.
    I love controllers! I started using Traktor over 13 years ago, using video editing controllers before manufacturers even made DJ MIDI hardware - I love watching the latest developments and I cringe when a developer drops the ball on software updates and/or overpriced, glitchy, or flimsy hardware that doesn't stand up to repeated transport, setup, set times, and packing away for every ... single ... gig you take them to. Venues have reasons to be a little leery of different tech coming and going -and plugging their naughty bits in the venue's own dirty sockets. Booths often don't have room for extra hardware or peripherals (but I think they should, sure!)
    I love using turntables, CDJs, Rekordbox via USB sticks, DVS software, etc. And depending on the gig, i may want to bring my controller if the setup is dodgy or unclear - even as backup. But it's not the solution for every gig - and neither are CDJs or turntables!
    Do people get upset about vinyl-only nights? (Really... If you do, I'm interested to hear why.) if the setup doesn't accommodate a controller, or if the promoter or other DJs would rather keep it simple by sticking to one medium, it doesn't have to be a restriction if DJs simply expanded their repertoire and knew how to adapt.
    Look at how pampered we are today to be able to load up a USB with Rekorbox-formatted tracks and pack your headphones and not need much more. And that's just one choice.
    If people think this club's policy represents hostility towards laptop DJs, then to those complaining, what have you got against the other "standard" club formats if you're willing to sacrifice gigs by sticking to one format?

    • A very mature take on it Taffi, thanks. It looks like Kenny backpedalled somewhat in his follow up interview about this, and of course we agree with you - pros should make it their job to be comfortable on anything, and stay openminded. Format fascism is frankly tedious.

  65. ah, no laptop!
    sure, i will bring my iPad then, no problem..

  66. Dj vitico BL says:

    I read all the comments here by members who know him and defended him and thought to give him a chance so I read his reply interview in magnetic , after reading his interview he seems an even bigger douche. He says very clearly he opened this club four months ago with ZERO budget for marketing promotion or TALENT but brags he is making a ton of money ..remember this. He later says and many of his friends on this site repeat that he tries to hire as much local talent as possible ... He has zero budget for talent ,makes a ton of money, and hires as much locals as possible. You all know what this means that's just industry speak for saying they want FREE DJs, paying DJs with "exposure" ,then he has the nerve to complain that they aren't pros and don't know how to set up equipment .. that's what you get for exploiting new DJs. Deal with it !

  67. Walter Marinelli says:

    One thing nobody mentions: There are DJs who simply not want to use the gear provided by the club. Because they are professionals and they want to work in professional conditions.

    Let me explain that: When we talk about the "good old days" the only equipment the DJ could use, was the Mixer and the turntables provided by the venue. The nostalgic feelings cover the truth that this gear often was in terrific conditions.

    I cannot count the gigs where i had to put the mixer on mono, because one of the turntables worked only one one channel. I cannot count the gigs, where i had to act really careful, because the mixer had broken channels in either one or the other way. I cannot count the gigs where i was confronted with turntables that weren't able to keep their speed tight or had tonearms that caused needlejumps every few minutes.

    Since the moment I started playing with controller using only one channel of the inhouse mixer my life got better. Much better. I can play every night on the same consistent setup that was checked by the only person i can really trust, by myself.

  68. BTD Arisola says:

    Only one way to settle this, Phil v Kenny DJ Battle! Just kidding Phil, Kenny probably had a bad night or two at his club and just wanted to vent. At the end of the day it's all about the music.

    • I hear this all the time, it's nothing personal at all against Kenny or anyone who holds that view. I just think it's lazy to tar all software DJs with the same brush and it's highly demotivating to DJs who are trying really hard to learn and aspire to one day play such clubs. People who say this stuff don't sometimes realise how many beginner DJs they are demotivating by doing so. Just standing up for our tribe.

  69. Stephen Wayne says:

    This is clever click bait, and I've taken the bait! I tried not to say anything but I'm guilty of chiming in on this rubbish once again 😀 These articles are always going to drive a lot of traffic and get a lot of people angry - who yell at each other in the comments which then drives more traffic - so I get why you want to keep writing these articles and sending extra emails out that link to these articles. Traffic to some click bait drama may lead to some sales. Sadly, many electronic music publications are part news, part tabloid (DDJT included). I'd like to see this site stop making such a big deal out of this stuff. I get it. DDJT is a business that makes money off of a lot of laptop DJs and you want to defend your methods, their methods, and your product. However, I don't agree with making a huge fuss every time someone well known or hardly known says something bad about mediocre laptop DJs. Who cares? Why not just go about your business doing laptop DJ stuff? Let the tabloids cover it. There are many clubs that don't allow laptops and controllers. Our opinions about that aren't going to change the clubs' curation of DJs. They have their reasons. Aside from their methods for "weeding out" DJs that rely on laptops, clubs have to maintain an image. The larger equipment reflects a certain level of professionalism, and the aesthetic of a DJ looking at a laptop just doesn't look as cool. Club owners place a lot of value on "cool". Clubbers DO sees the equipment in the booth. As much as us laptop DJs wish it weren't so, the equipment seen in the booth gives many club goers a perception of either toys or pro gear. Is all that really stupid? Mabe it is, but whining isn't going to help your cause. Once you get to a certain level, you should to learn CDJs and DVS regardless if a club owner is making you or not. It should be part of your growth as a DJ. When I was a beginner, I used a laptop. I still use a laptop for DJing but I only use it in the club if its connected to CDJs or DVS. The more I grow as a DJ, the less I need the laptop. Sometimes I prefer the laptop for open format so I can browse my library better. If the club won't allow it, should that stop me from playing a killer set? No! It presents a challenge and I think we all need to be challenged. But I don't need to tell my laptop story because you've all heard it before, and I've heard all your laptop/CDJ/Vinyl stories on the 20 other comment sections on the 20 other DDJT click bait articles about real DJing. I kind of agree with that club owner, but I kind of don't. Who cares what some club owner says that 99.9% of will never meet!??!!? I certainly don't think its worth another yelling match about it. Hopefully, this will be my last rant on the subject, and the last I the last I hear about it on DDJT.

  70. Rick Cortez says:

    I've watched many videos where Phil advises people to learn manual beat matching and using the industry standard cdj's...if you want to dj at the clubs. Judging from his ministry of sound interview, the technician told him that laptops and controllers were in fact ok for DJ's to use. So I think that the view of cdj's only has softened up a bit, and there's nothing wrong with that at all. Since I've been into this for over 25 years, I'm trying not to get left behind. I've had to learn all this new digital dj stuff to keep up...yes it is so much easier and less expensive than the old days, GOOD! In the end, it's about you and your creativity, not the equipment, or buttons and features.

  71. Blaq Soul says:

    The older Djs are afraid of change there's nothing wrong with Digital Djing... Soon we will be streaming music I guess the CDJ will stream music right... No one can stop the Digital age... Tell kids about CDJs they will laugh.. So I guess older DJs will play for older crowds while Digital Djs wow the cool kids LOL

  72. Gilbert Harris says:

    I understand the owners reasoning for taking this step though i don't wholly agree with it as i see it banning laptops will reduce the amount of Djs who aren't skilled---however banning the laptop is a reactionary solution & temporary at best . The promoters job is to acquire the talent & if the promoter or promoters are constantly bringing sub-par talent to the club that issue needs to be address untalented dj's with limited knowledge of dj gear have always existed regardless of the medium they choose to use---personally i would love to get to a club & the dj both has top of the line WORKING gear--even though i primarily use turntables i can DJ on any medium--Laptop, CDJ or Controller. These young DJ's need to learn their craft before calling themselves "Djs"

Have Your Say