The "Removing The CD Player" Debate

It's all about the equipment

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Lawrence
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#76 Post by Lawrence » Mon Jun 11, 2007 8:59 pm

GuruReuben wrote:
Ryan wrote:That said, I still use discs becuase I have no reason except DJ'ing to buy a laptop.
You're a moron! You'd better get yourself on a laptop this instant or I'm going to take your lunch money and throw you in your locker!
O.K., that's a bit funny, but mostly because you know (and played upon) the difference between that and what I was really saying.
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scowl
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#77 Post by scowl » Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:26 pm

Toon Town Dave wrote:Use 1U for a keyboard/monitor drawer and the other for a 1U industrial computer chassis. Use the 2U from the CD controller for a USB remote control for BPM Studio.
You mean drag around a rack mount PC with keyboard and a monitor? That's what laptops are for.

I don't know what I'd use a remote control for either. A CD deck would get a lot more use.

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#78 Post by tornredcarpet » Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:33 pm

rackmount pc dj set? now that's what I call having too much money.
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#79 Post by penguin » Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:40 am

There is one huge disadvantage of laptop DJ'ing though.

It encourages irresponsible DJ'ing. It's way too easy to set up a playlist and go off and have a few dances. The number of times I have seen unattended laptops just sitting there chugging away while the DJ cuts a rug....

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#80 Post by Lawrence » Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:00 am

penguin wrote:There is one huge disadvantage of laptop DJ'ing though.

It encourages irresponsible DJ'ing. It's way too easy to set up a playlist and go off and have a few dances. The number of times I have seen unattended laptops just sitting there chugging away while the DJ cuts a rug....
The problem there is not the laptop, but the DJ.

That problem is possible (and has happened) with CD's too. Not only can you burn a specific set beforehand and let it run unattended, a truly lazy DJ can just burn a bunch of mix CDs that they play over and over end-to-end. Moreover, with a laptop, you can change a pre-selected set on the fly, whereas you can't change a pre-burned CD. The laptop at least allows the lazy DJs to change it up if the DJ notices that he needs to change it up or if someone complains.
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#81 Post by GemZombie » Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:20 pm

I also once again defend the DJ who wants to Dance a tune while the laptop is going. Unless the DJ is completely irresponsible and dances every song, I don't see a problem with a DJ dancing while the next song is already queued up.

Depending on the situation, I find being one of the dancers instead of just the DJ can also help you get the mood of the dancers and helps with later song selection.

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#82 Post by straycat » Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:00 am

penguin wrote:There is one huge disadvantage of laptop DJ'ing though.

It encourages irresponsible DJ'ing. It's way too easy to set up a playlist and go off and have a few dances. The number of times I have seen unattended laptops just sitting there chugging away while the DJ cuts a rug....
Although there are cases for DJing in that fashion. I wouldn't do it in the ordinary course of events at a large established venue for example, and never while doing a guest spot... but our local scene has been going for only a year, is still small and has too few experienced leads

So while the music is a very high priority, it's of even higher priority to get every experienced dancer on the floor for as much time as possible... so my duties are generally split between DJing and dancing.

I'm not sure I agree with GenZombie about getting the feel of a room better by doing this though - for me, observation works better.

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#83 Post by Eyeball » Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:52 am

Image
Will big bands ever come back?

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#84 Post by Lawrence » Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:21 pm

straycat wrote:
penguin wrote:There is one huge disadvantage of laptop DJ'ing though.

It encourages irresponsible DJ'ing. It's way too easy to set up a playlist and go off and have a few dances. The number of times I have seen unattended laptops just sitting there chugging away while the DJ cuts a rug....
Although there are cases for DJing in that fashion. I wouldn't do it in the ordinary course of events at a large established venue for example, and never while doing a guest spot... but our local scene has been going for only a year, is still small and has too few experienced leads

So while the music is a very high priority, it's of even higher priority to get every experienced dancer on the floor for as much time as possible... so my duties are generally split between DJing and dancing.

I'm not sure I agree with GenZombie about getting the feel of a room better by doing this though - for me, observation works better.


I don't think you disagreed with Jesse, you just changed the emphasis. Jesse did not advocate doing dancing to his own music "in the ordinary course of events." Indeed, he even wrote "unless the DJ is completely irresponsible and dances every song..." and also wrote "depending on the situation" at the start of the next paragraph. If the situation requires more attention in the booth, then I suspect he wouldn't dance.

Moreover, I suspect that if you had Jesse's experience DJing at the same regular venues year after year after year, you would feel more comfortable doing it more often, too. If I recall correctly, Jesse DJs regular venues that have been going for years and have a pretty established routine and musical preferences.

I also agree that getting out there can help enhance (not replace, but enhance) your observations of how good a job you are doing.
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#85 Post by GemZombie » Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:25 pm

straycat wrote: I'm not sure I agree with GenZombie about getting the feel of a room better by doing this though - for me, observation works better.
#1 There is an amount of dancing a DJ can do that I believe helps, going overboard will obviously not work.

#2 Watching the room is always first, putting yourself into the room from time to time can help, imo.

I wasn't suggesting that it's the best way to read a room, just can provide additional information while enjoying the night yourself a bit.

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#86 Post by GemZombie » Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:27 pm

Lawrence wrote:
I don't think you disagreed with Jesse, you just changed the emphasis. Jesse did not advocate doing dancing to his own music "in the ordinary course of events." Indeed, he even wrote "unless the DJ is completely irresponsible and dances every song..." and also wrote "depending on the situation" at the start of the next paragraph. If the situation requires more attention in the booth, then I suspect he wouldn't dance.

Moreover, I suspect that if you had Jesse's experience DJing at the same regular venues year after year after year, you would feel more comfortable doing it more often, too. If I recall correctly, Jesse DJs regular venues that have been going for years and have a pretty established routine and musical preferences.

I also agree that getting out there can help enhance (not replace, but enhance) your observations of how good a job you are doing.
Indeed, you read me correctly, and hit the nail on the head on all points.

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#87 Post by kitkat » Thu May 01, 2008 4:49 am

The "irresponsible DJing" thing w/ CDs has only happened, in my experience, at somewhat small/startup dances IN extremely small/non-lindy-based scenes. Never at small/startup dances in scenes w/ plenty of good lindy hoppers.

The "irresponsible DJing" thing w/ laptops has happened at many, many, many somewhat small/relatively startup dances I've been to in scenes that really ought to be able to provide better. However, I have never seen it happen with CDs in my "home scene" that fits this profile.

However, in such scenes, I have found that their events don't attract "irresponsible DJing," no matter how many of the DJs have laptops. I guess the promoters hire DJs with more stake in what they're doing and I guess the DJs put more stake in how they appear, since there're probably out-of-towners & lots of good dancers around.

And even for case #2, it's finally getting better. (One of our monthly dances got a hideous pattern of "random" + "abandon & dance." I don't see that often there anymore.)

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#88 Post by straycat » Thu May 01, 2008 8:57 am

Lawrence wrote: ...
Moreover, I suspect that if you had Jesse's experience DJing at the same regular venues year after year after year, you would feel more comfortable doing it more often, too. If I recall correctly, Jesse DJs regular venues that have been going for years and have a pretty established routine and musical preferences.

I also agree that getting out there can help enhance (not replace, but enhance) your observations of how good a job you are doing.
I guess I didn't express myself all that well...
For me personally, dancing during a set doesn't help me in this way. I can see how it might for others, but dancing puts me in a very different state of awareness from DJing, and the two don't mix particularly well - so in an ideal world, I would be sticking to one or the other. Perhaps I should learn to multi-task better :roll:

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#89 Post by Lawrence » Thu May 01, 2008 11:00 am

Let's try this another way. One of the benefits of DJing with a laptop is that it 1) speeds up the process of finding the next song or two and 2) allows you to cue several songs in advance instead of just one song on the other dual deck. You can also select several alternative songs ("ideas") at the bottom of your playlist, and you can quickly rearrange that cue to incorporate those alternatives if the original ideas end up not working out so well. (I typically end a set with about ten unplayed songs at the bottom of my playlist that I did not get to.)

Now, with that saved time, you can spend it relaxing, refining your next few songs, watchin the floor, roaming the floor to check the sound, selecting even more potential alternative songs, or... you can go out and dance a song or two. And if the direction you headed in your set is not working, then you can skip back to the booth and easily re-arrange the cue to use those alternatives or find different songs, entirely. You are not wed to that playlist simply by making it.

So when you see an unattended laptop, it does not necessarily mean that the DJ is lazy, it might just mean that the DJ has already selected a bunch of options that won't need action for a few minutes. Also, the laptop makes it easy to make those changes to the playlist, so the DJ need not spend three minutes finding an alternative, like s/he would need to do with CDs; the changes go swifter, so the DJ need not linger in the booth, and you might miss them returning, doing their job, and going off to measure the sound or whatever.

That does not mean DJs SHOULD leave the booth unattended; it just means the laptop might simply have freed them up to be able to do so a bit more. Dancing to your own music merely provides another way of seeing whether what you are playing is working. Using a laptop does not require you to dance while you DJ, nor does it mean you should do so, it just frees you up to be able to do so. I also agree that I would probably be too paranoid to do it in a venue that is new to me because several things could go wrong that I could not predict. But when I know the system and know the clientèle, I appreciate having the flexibility to do so.


Getting back to the original topic, that still does not mean everyone MUST ditch CDs and that all venues should ditch the CD player so people "get with the program," but it does emphasize a few more advantages to DJing with a laptop.
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#90 Post by GemZombie » Fri May 02, 2008 1:12 pm

Indeed... I'm more likely to dance during my own DJ set if it's at a venue I regularly DJ at, or in a scene where I've established myself as a DJ.

I am not likely to do it if I'm a visiting DJ for a number of reasons: The stigma it may or may not have in the visiting scene is unknown to me. I'm not as familiar with the crowd to feel comfortable that I have enough of a visual feel for the crowd. If I'm being paid for the DJ gig, when being paid it seems a bit unprofessional despite my own personal feelings about it.

If it doesn't work for you, you aren't comfortable with it, or you just think it's wrong then you shouldn't do it. My defense of the tactic is such that I believe those who feel they can do it, and not abuse it, should not feel any guilt for doing so.

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