DJ'ing with records - Could you do it?

It's all about the equipment

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KevinSchaper
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#46 Post by KevinSchaper » Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:57 am

I've been at a dance with a single cd player and the resulting long pauses, it sucked the life from the room. Actually, I started DJing for dancers on a setup like that.. it was a huge improvement to have stuff already cued up.

Just because a song starts doesn't mean people have to stop talking.

I'm not sure why I'm arguing with you about it though, you won't change my opinion, and you don't DJ for dancers, do you?

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Eyeball
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#47 Post by Eyeball » Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:15 pm

KevinSchaper wrote:I've been at a dance with a single cd player and the resulting long pauses, it sucked the life from the room. Actually, I started DJing for dancers on a setup like that.. it was a huge improvement to have stuff already cued up.

Just because a song starts doesn't mean people have to stop talking.

I'm not sure why I'm arguing with you about it though, you won't change my opinion, and you don't DJ for dancers, do you?
We were not talking about using any CDs. This thread is about using LPs.

No one said you would only have to use one turntable.

Just because a song starts doesn't mean people have to stop talking.

Are *you* a dancer?

I think you are arguing about it with me because you are still carrying your 20th century hostility which you wear like a badge of honor.

I'm not interested in changing your opinion. I'm not even sure who you were. A question was posed and an interesting thread has developed.

I have DJed for dancers and I have danced to live and to DJ'ed music. None of which makes my OP more or less valid.
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Toon Town Dave
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#48 Post by Toon Town Dave » Wed Jun 27, 2007 10:17 pm

Yes, please keep this discussion on-topic.

As a regular vinyl DJ and one of my favorite DJs, I can vouch that he knows what he's talking about. Kevin brings a relevant perspective to the table.

In terms of long pauses, I find as a dancer I get a little antsy if they are too common. If I'm in a real dancing mood, I can say thanks in the couple of seconds or less between recordings. If I'm in a social mood, I'm more likely going to take a whole recording or more, not a 10 or even 30 second window.

As a DJ, I like to give dancers a couple of seconds, not much more. Sometimes I will use longer pauses to change the mood, I'll also use trailing applause, lead in talking or even bumper clips for the same purpose. Basically I like to have control over the pause time.

Lenthy pauses with nothing happening can kill momentum, at least with a band, there is something to see or watch that is nominally less uninteresting than a DJ leaning over a record player.

Back to the LP vs other discussion, as long as I can cue up in time, I don't see a problem. Really, the only problem I see with vinyl is transportation limitations (only so much space) and a lower tollerance for abuse, don't want to drop a crate of LPs after being in the trunk of my car for 1/2 hour in -30 degree weather in January or leave them there in 100 degree heat in July.

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#49 Post by CafeSavoy » Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:25 am

Toon Town Dave wrote:Back to the LP vs other discussion, as long as I can cue up in time, I don't see a problem. Really, the only problem I see with vinyl is transportation limitations (only so much space) and a lower tollerance for abuse, don't want to drop a crate of LPs after being in the trunk of my car for 1/2 hour in -30 degree weather in January or leave them there in 100 degree heat in July.
I agree that the physical volume of vinyls presents the biggest problem. I am sure there would be a learning curve in habituating the physical skills needed for the medium but once that is overcome you still have to deal with the space issues. Not only problems dealing with transporting the LPs but also where and how you can display your crates in the dj booth so that you can have easy access.

Oh, I think Kevin was one of the first swing DJs i've seen dj a set from vinyl.

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#50 Post by Toon Town Dave » Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:49 am

Space in the DJ "booth" is a challenge I hadn't considered. Typically at most of the rented hall style gig's I've done, the DJ space is a 6' or 8' fold up table, not too bad although still not a lot of extra space after the hardware. The places with an actual boot have been fairly cramped with little usable space for much more than a case of CD's.

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#51 Post by djstarr » Fri Jun 29, 2007 6:07 pm

Toon Town Dave wrote:As a regular vinyl DJ and one of my favorite DJs, I can vouch that he knows what he's talking about. Kevin brings a relevant perspective to the table.
and as a follow I can tell you Kevin is one of my favorite dancers! Kevin - nice to see you on the boards again. I still remember you at a Vancouver Exchange with your 2 huge boxes of LPs.......

John - you're in the LA area right? Maybe we can get a dance if you are at Camp Hollywood, I'm thinking about going.

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#52 Post by djstarr » Fri Jun 29, 2007 6:11 pm

Toon Town Dave wrote:As a DJ, I like to give dancers a couple of seconds, not much more. Sometimes I will use longer pauses to change the mood, I'll also use trailing applause, lead in talking or even bumper clips for the same purpose. Basically I like to have control over the pause time.
So I've finally found the best setting for pauses on my laptop, but I was playing around with it and unintentionally running each song into the next one. I didn't notice it but I guess it was not enough silence to cue people that the song had ended. Someone finally came up and complained. ha ha.

Also I DJ'ed an event this week with a true audiophile who loves to DJ on vinyl and always brings his own equipment [including mixer] because he doesn't like the venue's system. He saw me on my laptop and asked if it was a permanent change. I said yes and he almost started crying. He thought that was a shame. :P

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Lawrence
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#53 Post by Lawrence » Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:45 pm

djstarr wrote:
Toon Town Dave wrote:As a DJ, I like to give dancers a couple of seconds, not much more. Sometimes I will use longer pauses to change the mood, I'll also use trailing applause, lead in talking or even bumper clips for the same purpose. Basically I like to have control over the pause time.
So I've finally found the best setting for pauses on my laptop, but I was playing around with it and unintentionally running each song into the next one. I didn't notice it but I guess it was not enough silence to cue people that the song had ended. Someone finally came up and complained. ha ha.

Also I DJ'ed an event this week with a true audiophile who loves to DJ on vinyl and always brings his own equipment [including mixer] because he doesn't like the venue's system. He saw me on my laptop and asked if it was a permanent change. I said yes and he almost started crying. He thought that was a shame. :P
How did this thread get so bogged down in this pause debate, again? Anyway, LP DJs (on the radio and in da clubs) invented the over-lapping, no-pause style of DJing, using dual turntable setups, long before CDs were even conceived. Also, the ideal pause setting is difficult to set because different songs have different silence gaps at the end. You need gapless recognition AND automatic spacing to fully control it. But using both does make the queue system much more functional.



Ah, and in looking back, the pause thing only came up in this thread because Cooper misinterpreted my comment that needing to physically cue up the start point would throw off the normal cadence of selecting songs, resulting in rushed and thus poorer song selection. Cooper thought I meant that it would result in pauses between songs (not what I said), and then likened it to a live show, which has pauses between songs. (Even though the pauses between songs rarely if ever involve song selection; they play from a set-list).

I should have nipped it in the bud for the usual tangent-based-on-a-misinterpretation that is Cooper's trademark, but I instead reacted to the innanity of his actual point (that sloppiness and slovenliness are not undesireable, and we shouldn't try to make a perfect product), instead of the twisted way in which he got there. I must apologize. :oops:
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Eyeball
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#54 Post by Eyeball » Sat Jun 30, 2007 5:14 am

djstarr wrote:
John - you're in the LA area right? Maybe we can get a dance if you are at Camp Hollywood, I'm thinking about going.
It's possible.

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Eyeball
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#55 Post by Eyeball » Sat Jun 30, 2007 5:25 am

Lawrence wrote:
How did this thread get so bogged down in this pause debate, again?

Ah, and in looking back, the pause thing only came up in this thread because Cooper misinterpreted my comment that needing to physically cue up the start point would throw off the normal cadence of selecting songs, resulting in rushed and thus poorer song selection. Cooper thought I meant that it would result in pauses between songs (not what I said), and then likened it to a live show, which has pauses between songs. (Even though the pauses between songs rarely if ever involve song selection; they play from a set-list).

I should have nipped it in the bud for the usual tangent-based-on-a-misinterpretation that is Cooper's trademark, but I instead reacted to the innanity of his actual point (that sloppiness and slovenliness are not undesireable, and we shouldn't try to make a perfect product), instead of the twisted way in which he got there. I must apologize. :oops:
Perhaps you can have someone explain what you are trying to say so that you are not 'misunderstood' again. If they omit the second-rate lawyer's tricks, we will all benefit.

And stop infringing on my 'trademark'.!

Take a breath, Page. You're not at one of your country style trials or a revival meeting, you know. :roll:

And only prissy school marms 'nip things in the bud', bud.
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Lippy
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#56 Post by Lippy » Thu Sep 13, 2007 1:57 pm

I frequently DJ LP's only at several events in Chicago and around the Midwest. It is definitely a pain in that ass that is sometimes worth it, and sometimes not.

When I spin vinyl I bring two direct drive turntables and my own mixer. This allows me to cue with precision and transition smoothly between songs without awkward long pauses. I try to play only high quality, clean recordings, with limited pops and hiss, and have rarely had records skip.

The fact is that I have a much different collection on vinyl than I do on CD. So depending on what media I bring, I may play a completely different set. I definitely have LP's that I also have on CD, but I must say that there are some records that i have that are just not available on CD. Sure, I could convert them, but why not share the music from the source?

I enjoy the excitement of the extra work; Digging for records, manually queing, etc..., so that's always fun for me. I have a collection of about 2000 jazz / blues LP's that is impossible to bring to a dance. I usually try and bring a good range of styles, tempos, etc.. (about 150 records). It's definitely more challenging than bringing 1000 CD's or endless amounts of MP3's, but when dancers are responding to songs that they haven't heard before and feel inspired by the break from the same old...it's definitely worth it.

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Eyeball
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#57 Post by Eyeball » Thu Sep 13, 2007 4:47 pm

Nice post, Lippy. Thanks.
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remysun
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#58 Post by remysun » Sat Nov 03, 2007 1:25 am

Why does everyone make it seem so hard? If you have a neutral position, it's easy. Find the start of the song, turn back one-quarter turn so the drive has enough time to get up to speed before the song begins. If you don't, it's just a timely drop of the needle, just make sure that you're offline with the drop, then switch over, so you don't disturb the audience with the kaTHUNK!

The best advantage is, when you're good you can do like Mark Twain and look at the grooves to find your next groove. Can't do that with anything else. Can't do that in another language, but the language of music-- that's solid.

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#59 Post by remysun » Sat Nov 03, 2007 1:43 am

What I'd like to see our fades between vinyl and CDs, start it one way, equalizing the sound for a certain feel, then switch to the other method and a different sound.

Like start the vinyl version of "Don't Be That Way" with lots of treble, no bass, then after the first lick, kick in the CD to blast the sound into the 21st Century. Or throw in the stop groove during a musical break. Like what Kid Koala does, man oh man.

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Lawrence
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#60 Post by Lawrence » Sat Nov 03, 2007 12:31 pm

remysun wrote:Why does everyone make it seem so hard? If you have a neutral position, it's easy.
Nothing about DJing is "hard." It just would throw a lot of people off who have never played a record, at all, no less have not played a record for over a decade.

That brief process you described is so much more difficult than insert CD, forward to track number, play. It would throw off most people's timing. They could do it, but it would throw them off.
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