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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:26 pm 
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Today I recalled how procuring and playing Swing music has changed over the years. It was a fun look back for me on how far we've come in so little time. I can't imagine having to start over... if 1998 was when I had to start over.

http://www.jivejunction.com/?p=562

Thought some folks here would appreciate it and reflect on their own adventures growing into a Swing DJ.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:50 pm 
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Great article! My experience was quite similar, though I held out a few years longer with burned compilation CDs before switching to laptop-only DJing. I was not yet ready to lose functionality with the technological leap (i.e. no previewing), so I waited until I found the right stable software/hardware solution. For me that was, and still is, NI Traktor running on Windows XP with an external PCMCIA sound card. The set-up has been rock-solid: 7+ years without a single crash during a DJ gig! *knock on wood* I have since switched the rest of my computing life to a Macbook Pro, so I am sure my DJing will eventually follow once my current Windows-based laptop expires.

Oh how I miss those bulky Case Logic carrying cases... (not!)

Jesse


Last edited by JesseMiner on Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:25 am 
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Where do I find Julius' piece?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:29 am 
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Lindy Hop Since 1998 - A Personal View - Julius Yang
http://www.jivejunction.com/?p=485

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:41 am 
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Definately a long way from the DJs back in '89....who lugged crated records and had to lift them up a ladder to a DJ booth above the dance floor at our local club. :-)


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:42 am 
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The evolution from CD to laptop based DJ-ing is quite obvious to me.

Has anyone noticed any general trends on the type of material being played by the Swing DJs over the years? In particular, I would be more interested in the perspective of DJs who focus mostly on 'classic' material.

Lorenzo

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Last edited by Gong-Oh on Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:28 pm 
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Gong-Oh wrote:
[Has anyone] noticed any general trends on the type [of] material being played by the Swing DJs over the years? In particular, I would be more interested in the perspective of DJs who focus mostly on 'classic' material.


Absolutely, this is a massive topic on its own. I think it would vary a lot depending on each scene.

From my own perspective, we went from playing a wide range of "swing" music including many novelty songs, to a focus on classic swing in the mid-2000s. Now we are branching out again, but I've seen mini-trends towards more New Orleans jazz and recently more early Soul and Rhythm & Blues. I can go into this in more detail if people are interested.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 3:02 pm 
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trev wrote:
Absolutely, this is a massive topic on its own. I think it would vary a lot depending on each scene.

From my own perspective, we went from playing a wide range of "swing" music including many novelty songs, to a focus on classic swing in the mid-2000s. Now we are branching out again, but I've seen mini-trends towards more New Orleans jazz and recently more early Soul and Rhythm & Blues. I can go into this in more detail if people are interested.


It seems an interesting topic to me. Are you just referring to the Perth scene? Maybe Reuben could write an article on the topic too.

Lorenzo
PS
Thanks for the grammar corrections. :oops:

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 4:59 pm 
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Yes, I was just referring to my city [Perth]. I'm sure each scene would be different. 8)

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:12 am 
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I actually didn't touch on music trends on purpose, to keep my post as applicable to most people as possible. Something on music trends over the years would be interesting... but as Trev mentioned each scene sees different trends. Perhaps the trends at big national events could be focused on.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:59 pm 
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So true! Reuben and I have had very similar experiences regarding the technical aspects of DJing, though I suspect the musical trends we have experienced/promoted over the years have been vastly different! ;)

Once again, kudos to Reuben for the great article!

Jesse


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:12 pm 
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Oh sure, things are getting lighter and more portable for the typical DJ... and yet ten years later I'm still the bloke hauling around a truck's worth of PA gear back and forth from the venues. Somehow I don't think miniaturization will be making my life that much easier anytime soon :roll:


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:53 pm 
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I can remember introducing CDs to my DJ-ing, wasn't doing swing though. It was late '89 and bizarrely increased my load considerably as I carted about a midi unit with a CD player. I was in my teens (just) and it was still a "flash" thing to do. By Christmas of '92 I was using mainly CD, two domestic rack players and a single semi-pro turntable for stuff that was not available on CD. The turntable hung in there for a few years, eventually giving way to a totally CD setup which itself became heavily reliant on pre-prepared compilations and even mixes as CD-R became more feasible. Sometime in the late '90's a laptop worked its way into the setup. A single instance of winamp taking the place of one CD player and a heck of a lot of the CDs. I can't put my finger on exactly when the CD player disappeared and in fact I still occasionally carry portable one with an "emergency" disk which has saved my rear at least once. I tried a tablet, not an iPod type thing but an industrial strength touch screen brick which had previously been the property of the Royal Air Force, I had to remove the GPS unit to fit a PCMCIA soundcard! It ran a variant of XP and I sourced a touch enabled DJ package for it, the name of which escapes me. It was a short lived affair as it just wasn't up to fat fingers and searching. I'd love a touch screen "standard" laptop for the best of both worlds though.


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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 8:43 pm 
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Missed this topic the first time around but echo the same experiences regarding the technical side and also the musical trends side as Trevor (maybe because we are both Australian based - though Perth has always had the reputation of playing traditional lindy hop music).
One thought I would add is they also a retro trend back to vinyl. It is certainly something I have been exploring. I have now acquired some turntables and a collection of vinyl (mostly soul 45s but some swing lps). I have DJed using them at a soul event. It is much harder than using my laptop but in a way more satisfying. I haven't attempted it yet at a swing gig :D But then I can remember DJing at parties in my younger days with vinyl.


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 11:46 am 
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Something I've noticed is the effect of more live music in the scene in recent years. Most of my out of town gigs at special events have been band breaks/end of the night or contest prelims. It's quite different than the old days when I could settle in for a 1-2 hour or longer shift.

Even at PLEX back in March I was coordinating the DJ schedule and had to re-jig things because of a literally last minute addition of live music. Without changes I tried to have a good mix of DJs representing the 4 major prairie scenes but there was so little time for DJ'd music I had to limit the number of DJs and the time I gave them. I kind of felt bad that I couldn't really give anyone a solid shift.

I don't mind going from being core and critical to an evening to filling time between live music. Live music is by far more fun and enjoyable.


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