What is the future of the DJ turntable? Most of my colleagues and I use tools like Serato Scratch Live when we DJ, allowing us to bring huge libraries of music to the party without hauling heavy crates of vinyl.
We’re still using turntables ’cause they’re what we learned on, so we’re comfortable with them, but it seems to me that the mighty Technics 1200‘s champion days are numbered. The next generation of DJs will have grown up without turntables and won’t have any need for them. Especially now that there’s a whole new crop of tools poised to replace the visceral experience of using turntables (see below).
Last november we posted a poll asking our DJ readers which format they prefer to use. 80% said they now use digital tools. The remaining 20% use vinyl only. So far only 21% use digital exclusively but I imagine those numbers will continue to tip away from vinyl.
Now lets talk about the tools that will replace turntables. I’m already beginning to be booked at some gigs that only provide DJ CD players (CDJs). The Pioneer CDJ 1000 was the first digital tool that really gave traditional turntables a run for their money by providing a touch sensitive platter that DJs can use to control the data on the CDs in a tactile way.
More recently a whole crop of USB DJ controllers have been popping up â€” self contained units with a mixer and cuing features built in. The best of these also have jog wheels and sound cards built in.
Meanwhile there are tiny contenders entering the game too. Yes, some people already “DJ” with iPods but I mean full blown micro DJ Systems like the Pacemaker. And now that Apple has opened up the iPhone to 3rd party software developers I’m sure there’ll soon be some touch-screen DJ apps for that unit coming down the line.
Speaking of touch screen DJ apps. Check out the Atigo TT by Scott Hobbs:
This thing looks really fun but there’s an argument to be made here about portability. If it’s the same size as a turntable why not bring the real thing?
Nothing’s perfect yet but sooner or later there will be an all-in-one DJ controller that’s got everything for a visceral DJing experience in a portable package. Perhaps the Numark NS7.
Or maybe even better, or at least cheaper and smaller, the Vestax VCI-300
Both of these controllers are slated to come out this summer and both work with Serato software. Stay tuned…
In the meantime, give a listen to this 100% vinyl DJ mix by Wanklerotaryengine:
Wanklerotaryengine; What is my Purpose? ->
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