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Since the late seventies, the turntable has continually influenced modern music. From the way that it is heard,
written, and produced, there are many characteristics of sound that turntables contribute. Originally only used for playing phonographic records, the turntable saw new life with the birth of the DJ. With the ability to manipulate what is being played, the DJ morphed the turntable into a musical instrument. With the increase of technology, we have seen many changes in the way that a DJ approaches their mix. Taking from the original ideas that were inspired by such classics as the Technic 1200, newly developed mixing consoles offer new dimensions and depth today’s mixes. Whether you are new to the art of mixing, or looking to expand your sonic capabilities, you will need to know what to look for in a proper Dj setup.
The progression into the future of digital mixing leaves little of us without optimism. Originally, a DJ would have to track down a copy of a LP Record, and mix it between another record inside of their mixer. But now, you can download any song you want to mix in MP3 or WAV format, and mix, re-mix, and further edit each sound before the audience hears it. The influence of the digital music format on music has been tremendous. Along with giving the DJ a wider pallet of musical selection, there is also the ability to fine tune one’s unique mixing sound. While there are many different sonic possibilities for the DJ, there are just as many choices of instruments to use. It depends on what format you are most comfortable with, as well as what you feel would be best for traveling.
While traditional DJ decks consist of two turntables and a mixer, lots of clubs today are using CDJs, or even USB mixing consoles. The industry standard for many years being the Pioneer CDJ1000, which allows you to mix CD’s between each other in the mixer. The advantage to the CDJ is its consistency. A problem with playing vinyl is that most clubs will have their turntables set up differently, and this can affect your playing style when you perform.
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With the elimination of the CD in the possible, you may want to consider going completely digital instead. USB DJ decks can give you the same level of mixing fluidity, while offering the expanded effect capabilities that computers deliver. Consisting of software like Serato and a USB mixer interface, these types of DJ decks can be the most cost effective for beginners.
There have been many forms of hybridization when it comes to the technology of DJ decks. The most notably, being the Serato Scratch system. For many, this is the total integration of a computer, turntable, and mixer. Serato Scratch allows the DJ to switch between vinyl and digital formats seamlessly. With Serato’s custom designed vinyl plates and sensors, you can perform your mixes with the exact precision that vinyl become known for.
No matter what form of music you intend on mixing, there are DJ decks to conform to any style of performance that you wish. The best thing to do to keep the format of music you’re playing in mind, and what kind of setup you will feel most comfortable with in live situations.