Why DJs Should Learn Spinning With Vinyls
Aside from just the cool factor there are some hardcore fundamentals that one learns when learning to use vinyl that will truly make you a better DJ.
Here are 5 Reasons You Should Learn To DJ With Vinyl:
1. Understanding Touch, Back Queing, Scratching
One of the break through moments of sound is when the record is being back cued - which makes everything clear. When the record is being rotated backwards, you will then be able to hear and understand where the bass, high-hat, snare, drum kick and other percussion that it is in the track. Next is learning to scratch, learning how to manipulate those sounds into a scratch and physically doing it with a record was substantial in understanding mixing and transitions – touching the vinyl and the platter of a CDJ is a completely different feeling and experience.
When you touch and see the groove of a record it somehow brings you closer to the song, and it makes you to be more intimate with it.
2. Hearing the Mix
Vinyl is unforgiving, even the turntables are unforgiving. Back in the day DJing at a club was a lot like the Forrest Gump quote “You never know what you’re gonna get…” You might show up to perfectly tuned 1200 MK5s or some busted up pair of speakers with a broken tone arm. Thing is you had to make it work, either, you have to make sure the mix is tight through listening, not wave forms or sync buttons. Why is this essential? Because your ears are always right, if it does not sound right, it is not right, and you should always trust that instinct. Sync buttons can easily fail you, just because your bpm’s are matched, that does not mean your mix will sound good. Vinyl is like Mr. Miyagi’s “Wax On, Wax Off” training for your ears.
3. Being Selective
Now-a-days it’s easy to simply go on Beatport or Soundcloud and download tons of music, throw it into Rekord Box or Mixed In Key and have it all sorted out by BPM, Key and even Energy Level. While this is great on many levels, it also kills the craft of really carefully selecting your records. With vinyl you are limited by both the cost of the music and the space in your record box. So for the most part you can only take 50-100 records with you to a gig and when you are playing wax, then you got to be a lot more selective about what’s in there. When you are more critical of your music, chances are you are playing the best of what you got, which is good for everybody. All killer no filler. Last but not least you also have a much better understanding on how to put all of your records together because you have spent so much time with them.
4. Sound Quality
When you play vinyl you are hearing analog waveforms and those have a very distinctive sound to them that let you hear the details of your music. Records can sound crappy too, if you have a record that was not pressed or mastered well chances are it will sound light and thin compared to one that is done well. This is the same for compressed digital music vs. uncompressed digital music; CDs/WAV files just sound better and more robust then an MP3 so many DJs still opt to play WAVs. Analog sound let’s you truly understand the foundation of what music should sound like at it’s best and you can work backwards from there.
It takes hours of practice to learn how to get it perfect, it’s expensive and not to mention precision. To not give up in mastering the craft and art of these record and it's device. It may take a whole lot of your time, but hey..if it's easy, everybody would be a good DJ.
Written & Edited by, DevarajDB