Your Questions: What’s The Best Colour Of Timecode Vinyl To Use?

Phil Morse | Founder & Tutor
Read time: 2 mins
Last updated 3 August, 2017

Digital vinyl systems don’t care what colour the timecode vinyl you use to control them is… but should you?

Digital DJ Tips forum member Suad writes: “I’m finally about to try DVS. I see there are control vinyls in various colours. Are different colours just for ‘coolness factor’, or is it easier to read and see grooves and gaps on coloured as opposed to standard black vinyl? Which colour might be the best? I have some coloured regular vinyls and I find some of it harder to read.”

Digital DJ Tips says:

Good question, and it’s a point any “regular” vinyl DJ would be able to answer the way I suspect you are already thinking: Black is best. The reason is that the contrast between light reflecting off the grooves and the vinyl is greatest when the vinyl is black. See-through in particular is really very hard to use.

(For non-vinyl using readers who may be lost here, on a “normal” piece of vinyl, the breaks/quiet parts of a song are smoother due to having finer groves, the “loud” parts are rougher as the grooves literally contain more information in the form of biggest changes in size.)

With traditional vinyl, of course, looking at the surface not only shows you the start and end of a track, but what’s happening in it. But with control vinyl (for DVS systems), while there’s as a lead-in zone, playback zones and a “scroll” zone (which can be used to scroll through your library without touching your laptop) – and while all of these will be marginally easier to spot on black than coloured vinyl – the truth is that it’s probably not so important, as you’re not going to want to “read” the surface as much as true vinyl DJs do.

Have I called it right? Are you a DVS DJ who has some little tricks to do with coloured vinyl? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

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