Monday, June 6, 2011

ARTICLE: Stepping into the Digital DJing Void: Part 1 | Reasoning

August of 2008, I set myself some goals. Start DJing again, reconnect with the DMV DJ community and digitize "the Annex". These are the lessons learned during the past three years while trying to create a digital Annex.

I love vinyl nothing sounds, feels and smells like vinyl. My wife and family complain I have an unhealthy obsession with vinyl records. I would agree with my hart and soul. I dream about music, I will subject friends and family to hours of waiting while I dig in record shops or talk to locals about there scene. I've suggested to my wife about moving to a large house or acquiring a second storage unit for music equipment and vinyl storage (I'm only partly joking).

When I started fiddling with digital DJing it was with mixed emotions. I had just completed a thinly valid year tour of all the finest snowboarding resorts in the Swiss, German & French Alps. During which I was separated from my record collection for the first time in 6 years. I fell into a bit of a funk, which I pried out with the help of 2 local record stores, a lot of snowboarding and an independent radio station. When I got back state side I was hell bent ever to leave my record collection again. Around this time Serato made its debut and its adoption by the turntablist community gave me the motivation to give it a try. I had head of Final Scratch and seen ads for what would later become Traktor, but at that time I was a vinyl purist and looked down at CD, or any other media format.

I remember when I got Serato my computer at the time (and old macbook) was unable to handle the software so I had to use my fathers iMac. I remember him watching as I hooked it up to turntables and showed him how these "time coded" records could control the MP3. Both of us amused about at how old school technology was being used to control cutting edge technology.

I would be almost a year later that while working for a company in DC I would get a computer fast enough to handle Serato. At this point I had forgotten the pain of separation from my music and only lightly tinkered with Serato here and their. I had a hard time trusting new technology to not fail on me in the middle of a set. Especially as I had witnessed it happen to countless other DJs in small and large clubs through out DC. Plus I had 3 amazing record stores to pick up new tracks from (DJ Hut (R.I.P.), Capital City Records(R.I.P.), & Crooked Beat).

So I sold Serato to finance new DJM600 mixer, and for a few years I was back to my old vinyl purist self. Giving touring DJs hell when ever they busted out their CDs or computers.

Then the unthinkable happened Capital City Records closed its doors and DJ Hut followed suite soon after in 2007. My vinyl life line was cut off. I was left to the world of mail order vinyl. NYC shops online interface sucked, West coast distributors stoked a lot Junglecore that never really excited me much. I started importing records from Japan, France & England (the lions share came from England). This got costly fast and turned me off for a while.

Now we can pick up where the whole story began in the summer of 2008. I had just traded a Rane TTM56 Mixer for a used Serato SL1. Fair swap but I would later regret selling my beloved TTM56 (thats another story).

When we continue with part 2 of this story, I will regal you with the trials and tribulations of how I eventually found my work flow for converting vinyl.

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