True DJs VS Music Players
Today I come to present a very controversial subject, especially if you descend from the old school of DJs, from a time mixing music was a matter of true talent, accurate ears, agile fingers, knowledge of the music you had to play in advance and creativeness, to play with irregular tracks compared with the today’s ones, most from vinyl then, hardware created, and with the true perception of difficulty to mix the more you return the decade, going back to the 90s, 80s and 70s.
The youth nowadays has a vast apparatus in terms of both hardware and software that practically allow almost anyone to be a “DJ”, what the old could consider just Music Players, with no more need of accurate ears, agile fingers, previous knowledge of the tracks, with very well created tracks via software, with beats equally distant from each other throughout the whole track, thus requiring less talent. They do not need to synchronize beats with their ears and hands, software does that for them; they do not need to know if the tracks are appropriate to each other in advance, software can determine that for them; etc.
What are the parameters that should be used to classify someone as a real DJ?
What is the real DJ, someone with ability to mix music up or someone able to click Play in front of the crowd?
Should the assessment parameters be different, if any truly exist, when we consider DJs prior to the year 2000?
One of these days I have been presented to something that definitely led me to creating this topic, I came to know about the existence of the software Mixed In Key, this one: http://www.mixedinkey.com/
When I read this question at the bottom of the page “Are you ready to mix like David Guetta, Dubfire, Paul Oakenfold and many more?”, I thought to myself “so is with this that David Guetta has become the #1 DJ in the world? This man is pure crap as a DJ therefore”. I also thought that, if anyone can mix as the #1 DJ in the world, the scene is completely upside-down, coming to the conclusion that being a DJ today is a mere matter of opportunities to play, to be a Music Player.
Now another question that cannot be missed: what are the parameters that define the best DJs in the world, such as the DJ Mag’s ones? I confess, I do not know DJ Mag’s parameters, but I do hope those are based on technical skills. Does anyone know what it is about?
Today, can the status of #1 or best DJs be taken as synonymous with being famous? In other words, the more famous you are, the best DJ you become? How does DJ Mag and others classify the DJs in their lists?
Frankly speaking, if popular poll only is what defines the best DJs, I am sorry for all true and real DJs that do not occupy the first positions in the charts exclusively because they have no opportunities to show their jobs, to be famous, and be fairly judged and deemed real DJs, against possible Music Players that take the lead for being famous.
It is worth saying that some people do not know how to vote, they like the artists’ music productions and vote for them as a great DJ, totally different abilities.
The more radical ones consider these guys as the real DJs:
DMC World 1991 DJ David (Germany):
DMC World 1996 DJ MC Jack (Brazil):
To some others, the real DJs are the ones that forget about software facilities and does a similar job as Ferry Corsten did here below.
Ferry Corsten live in Tokyo, 2002:
To some others, probably the most recent DJs that have come to the scene, it is acceptable to become super star #1 DJ in the world with pieces of software like Mixed In Key, able to determine also if the tracks are compatible with each other, with little intellectual work.
And the possibilities to play the DJ go beyond this, nowadays being possible to do the job with software such as VirtualDJ, iPods and even mobile phones.
Oh man, come on, is that too easy to become a DJ today? Or rather, can they really be considered Music Players and nothing else? Does being #1 in the world really mean being famous only?
If popularity is what makes a Music Player a real DJ, should Madonna wish to be a Music Player, she will become the greatest DJ of the world, much beyond Guetta…
I myself do not mix with CDs or LPs, I use a Torq Xponent Controller. Why do I do like this? It is simple, I do not have CDJs or possibilities to mix with vinyl, it is a matter of money to invest. Am I worried with that? Not at all, I have software facilities, but I do not use them, I do it manually, making my ear more and more accurate and manually dealing with the jog wheel to avoid beats-mismatch. Am I silly and should be doing differently, playing similarly to what David Guetta does?
What are the outcomes of all this scenario?
In my viewpoint, thanks to this reality wherein technology and opportunities to be famous transform Music Players into DJs, naturally, to the ignoramus one that believes being a DJ is to be waving his hand before the crowd after clicking the Play button, now we have truly talented artists hidden due to lack of opportunities to demonstrate their abilities, whereas the most unskillful ones can become the greatest DJs of the world if they are granted the chance to click Play. Furthermore, competitions between true DJs and the fake ones are too fierce today, it is a lot more difficult for the real professional to join the scene, have opportunities, and payment gets lower and lower because now you do not need to hire an artist who deserves a fairly good payment, a Music Player will do it. What is the fate of the true artist in this new world of Music Players?
Last but not least, should we forget about all this pride that made DJs true artists in the past? Should we embrace the new technology and cross the fingers to have opportunities to be famous, accepting any payment for our jobs?
If you are 20 years old or less, maybe the answer to the last question is straightforward to you, you probably do not have the background of a 30 year old guy like me, someone who attended a DJ course and had classes on Vinyl and CDJs with no software present.
Please, have your say and let us foster a great discussion, with different answers expected depending on age and perhaps nationality too.
Regards from Brazil!